Critical tips to keeping your information secure online
Jan 27, 2012, 9 a.m.
Online security should be foremost in the mind of every Internet user. The web provides an endless stream of information. The available details encompass historical facts, government records, current marketing projects, entertainment resources, and access to personal and private financial matters. If you are not careful, the Internet will also include details concerning matters of privacy online that are pertinent to your personal circumstances.
Identity thieves crave your personally identifiable information and your money. Hackers spend days learning how to invade online security defenses. At this point in history, privacy online may be more fantasy than reality.
The following steps will help protect your online privacy.
Practice Personal Online Security Wisdom
Treat personally identifiable information the same as you would treat cash money. Anytime someone or some website makes a request for your Social Security number, credit card numbers, bank numbers or utility account details, consider the risk associated with the release of that information. Remember these three primary security points:
- No legitimate company uses email to request private information
- No legitimate website uses a forum to request private user details
- Never exchange personally identifiable information via a phone call that you did not initiate.
Think Like a Security Program
Modern security software touches on new levels of protection. It now examines your computer, learns what makes up your system's normal software patterns, and it is capable of identifying any deviation from that pattern. You can learn to do the same:
- Be aware of what belongs on your taskbar
- Know what screen displays are normal
- Be alert for what belongs on your browser's toolbar
- Watch for changes in the default search engine.
Use Security Software That Updates Automatically
The attacks never end. Every new online protection scheme is eventually violated. Privacy online depends on privacy within your personal computer system. Use security software that updates automatically and often. Primary tips in this matter include the following:
- Make sure that your automated security software comes from a legitimate source
- Don't fall for emails or pop-up messages that announce infection but do not come from your installed security software package
- Keep the Operating System and your browser up to date with current versions.
Only give your personally identifiable information over encrypted websites. Look at the primary address bar on your browser. It works like this:
Http identifies a standard web address
Https identifies a website that is encrypted for security
Special tip: Pay attention to domain names. Many scammers setup websites that use a known corporate title but with some minor difference in the spelling. For example: Myybank.com is not the same as Mybank.com. Never use an email link to open your bank account.
Use Security Focused Online Passwords
The principles are simple. Passwords should be:
- Account specific
- Stored in a secure manner
Bonus Tip To Ensure Maximum Privacy Online
Refrain from sharing too much personal and/or family information over the Internet. Every piece of shared data is a link that can be used to build an identity chain capable of robbing your assets. Age, address, self-portraits, photos of your home, even too much information concerning your taste in music can be used as a stepping stone toward breaching your online security defenses.
Content Provided by Spot55.com