5 Ways To Protect Your Identity Online

How to Protect Your Identity Online

The internet has become such an influential part of our lives. Whether it is waking up to check your Instagram, streaming a movie on the way to work or sending emails all day, we all utilize the internet at every turn. As a result of this we put our identities out there in almost everything we do online and thus it is imperative that we do all we can to ensure we are not victims of identity theft.

This type of common modern-day crime sees your information taken for the thieves to run up debts or commit crimes in your name. Here are some essential tips in helping you reduce the chance of being exploited.

Be overly cautious

People use their personal information, including credit card details, on the internet daily. Before blindly trusting any website to store your details securely be sure to read the site’s privacy policy and only enter your details on secure web pages. You can tell if a webpage is secure if the URL begins with “https” and if there is a padlock symbol at the bottom of your browser.

Don’t fall for Phishing

There are plenty of deceitful people out there who are trying to con you into giving them your details. These scam artists disguise themselves as regular businesses that you would usually do business with. They will use several methods – email, phone calls, etc. – to try to get you to confirm your details, account numbers and passwords. The best response to this is not to respond – legitimate businesses will not ask for this information in this manner.

Use a VPN

A VPN (virtual private network) uses a few levels of protection to encrypt your data in between your device and the online world. You can easily purchase a VPN online (some are even free) and they will give you instructions on how to set these up whether it is on your desktop, laptop or even phone.

Check your bills and statements and even your credit report

Checking your bills to ensure no payments authorized by yourself regularly is a way to pick up on any instances where your personal information might have been compromised. If there are any abnormal results, then contact your bank immediately to ensure they do not continue. In many cases you may be able to retrieve the funds you have lost as a result of

unauthorised payments. Once again, irregularities on your credit report can help you identify breaches.

Ask Why

Just as you would if someone asked in person, whenever your information is requested ask why that might be the case. Be sure to ask how and where that information is going to be used and if you are not comfortable do not pass it on.

While identity theft is on the rise the above tips can no doubt limit your chances of being a victim. Always being aware of who wants your information and why can help you stay one step ahead of those trying to get one over you.

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