While we don’t want to admit it, the internet can be a dangerous place. There is so much information about us out there and with so many different locations that we use on a regular basis to access, share or edit our personal data, it’s important that we stay one step ahead of the game. Identity theft happens a lot more often than we would like to admit, and while many people go their entire lives without being targeted, this is mainly because they are doing what they can to keep themselves safe and out of harm’s way.
Today we thought it was about time that we talked to you about how to keep your information safe and away from hackers because they are lurking and constantly finding new ways to get to the information that you are trying to keep in the right hands. So, keep these tips in mind when you are on the internet and you should be fine.
Passwords and Security Questions
While this may seem obvious to some of you, there are still many people who do not know how to properly select passwords for themselves or security questions for that matter. When it comes to your passwords, you do not want to select anything that would be too easy for someone to guess. For example, do not use your mother’s maiden name or your first pet’s name because these are things that many people probably know about you and especially if you are someone who is a member of many communities online, these are facts that just about anyone may be able to figure out quickly.
When it comes to security questions, keep the same things in mind. Consider only using questions that you think no one would be able to figure out. If this means you need to stick to a trick question, then that’s fine; just make sure it’s something you won’t forget because the last thing you want is to be locked out of your accounts. It is important to protect your online accounts but not from you!
Be Careful Where You Share Your Personal Information
As we mentioned above, a lot of the times we are sharing more information these days about ourselves to complete strangers than we ever have in the past. Before you post something about yourself (especially on places like Facebook where it can seem safe), be sure to think about what you are doing. Everything you post on the internet has the potential of staying online forever. Do you really want to tell the world where you work or which bank you go to? Do you really think it’s necessary for them to know where you are currently? Things like this can prove to be quite dangerous and with so many millions of people constantly online, you can never be too safe.
Make Sure You Know the Sites You Visit
Another very popular way that people can get your information without you even realizing it is through websites they create. This is why so many people only go to web pages that they are familiar with and trust. Harmful viruses can actually be attached to websites, meaning that anyone who logs on is going to have data automatically downloaded to their computers. A lot of the times this is going to be happening behind the scenes so you won’t even notice a thing. Your antivirus may not notice either, which is the scariest part of it all.
A lot of the times you can actually use your antivirus program to help you decide if a website is safe or not. For example, Norton actually has a little check mark next to each site that shows up in your search engine so that you can quickly determine which pages are safe or not. Some pages are going to show up with a red mark or a question mark if not enough people have visited the page. This does not necessarily mean the page isn’t safe but that Norton isn’t quite sure about the page so you should be cautious. Keeping your computer secure should be your number one priority.
Don’t Trust Anyone
While you want to think you can trust your best friend, your sister or maybe even your husband; it still may not be a very good idea to give them your passwords. The reason behind this is because you never know how things can change. What if you were to get into a fight or if you were to get divorced? What would that person be capable of? While you don’t want to think they would use your information against you or access information that you wish they wouldn’t, it can be really tough to predict the future. If you do run into a situation where you need to share such information, make sure you change your password soon after just to be safe.
These people can also unknowingly put you at risk by sending out broadcast emails, sharing too much on Facebook, and more.