Every year, about 15 million Americans are victims of identity theft. More often or not, these people have their identities stolen after not protecting personal information online.
Do you want to make sure that your personal information is safe and sound at all times while you’re on the internet? If so, then you should learn all about how to protect personal information online.
By taking a few simple steps, you can get the identity protection you want and need. Here are seven measures you should take when you’re trying to figure out how to protect your identity online.
1. Install Antivirus Software on Your Computer When You First Buy It
When you first purchase a computer, you might be tempted to jump right onto it so that you can begin surfing the web. But you should avoid doing this until you have it all set up with the latest antivirus software.
The last thing you want to do is invite viruses to come onto your computer. It could potentially put your personal information at risk by leaving you open to cyberattacks.
There are plenty of free antivirus software options out there. You might also want to spring for one of the paid versions so that you know you have all the protection that you’ll need for your computer.
2. Create Strong Passwords for All Your Various Online Accounts
There are going to be lots of different online accounts that you open up when you use the internet regularly. You’ll start email accounts, social media accounts, e-commerce accounts, and more.
You’re going to need to create passwords for all of these accounts, and you should make sure that they’re as strong as they can be. Each and every password that you create should be unique, and they should all be hard for other people to guess.
You should also keep passwords safe by not sharing them with others and by not storing them in an obvious place online. This will prevent people from being able to access your online accounts and steal your personal information.
3. Be Careful When Opening Attachments Sent to Your Email Inbox
When you have an email account, you’re going to get emails with attachments included all day long. It’s important for you to be careful about which attachments you open and which you delete.
Some of the emails that you receive with attachments might look like they’re from a family member, a doctor’s office, or even a government agency. But oftentimes, these attachments are actually from hackers and scammers trying to take your personal info from you.
When in doubt, you should always delete attachments that don’t look legit. Or if nothing else, you should contact the sender of an email by phone to confirm that an attachment is, in fact, legit before opening it.
4. Watch What You Click On When People Sends You Links
In addition to sending you attachments by email, you’re also going to have people sending you links through emails, instant messages, and more. You should be wary of these links and steer clear of clicking on them if you don’t know where they’re going to lead you.
Doing something as simple as clicking on a link could expose your personal information to the world and allow hackers to get to it. You should hesitate before clicking on a link and make sure it’s legitimate before doing anything else.
5. Make Sure You Only Visit Websites That Are Secure
There are almost 2 billion websites on the internet today. Many of them are secure, but there are also a lot out there that don’t offer the security that you need to keep your personal information safe.
Prior to visiting a website, you should look to see whether or not there is an “https” at the start of its URL. If there is, it means that it’s a secure site that you shouldn’t have to worry about. But if you don’t see that, it means that the site might not be as secure as you need it to be.
It’s better to be safe than sorry by avoiding any websites without an “https.”
6. Avoid Sharing Information About Yourself With Those You “Meet” Online
The internet has made it easy for people from all around the world to “meet” one another. You can find people with interests similar to yours online and chat with them virtually about whatever you want.
But you should be aware of the fact that there are people who will try to form connections with others online for the sole purpose of stealing their personal information. With this in mind, you shouldn’t ever share your personal info with anyone that you meet on the internet under any circumstances.
7. Get Into the Habit of Updating Your Computer on a Regular Basis
Computer companies and software developers know that we live in a world that’s constantly changing. Hackers are always trying to find new ways to steal people’s personal information online, which is why these companies and developers update their hardware and software all the time to keep people’s info safe.
You should get yourself into the habit of looking for updates for your computer and everything on it on a regular basis when you’re on a mission to figure out how to protect personal information online. By simply updating your computer once a month or so, you could make it way safer than it would be otherwise.
Knowing How to Protect Personal Information Online Is Important
Having your identity stolen online can be a huge hassle for people. It can force them to go to great lengths to get their personal information back.
Because of this, you should learn how to protect personal information online and work hard to keep your info to yourself. Use the techniques that we’ve laid out here to provide your identity with the protection that it needs every single day.
Want to find out more about protecting yourself online? Read the other technology-related articles on our blog to get all kinds of useful tips and tricks.