As more people spend time making purchases and paying bills on the Internet, it can increase the risk of having your identity stolen while spending time at home or in a public setting. Hackers and thieves are often able to steal personal information and passwords in seconds. If you want to protect your identity online, there are a few easy steps to take that will secure your data.
Manage Your Passwords
Creating strong passwords that are unique and do not contain any words that are related to your personal information is essential to deterring theft or having your accounts hacked. Opt for passwords that are randomly generated and avoid using the same password for multiple websites. Using a password manager can make it easier to keep a record of each password. You can also protect the passwords by using two-factor authentication to make the password stronger.
Update Your Software
The software that is installed on your computer should be capable in protecting your information, making it necessary to update the software throughout the year. You'll need to remain proactive about updating mobile apps, web browsers, computer and phone operating system software, and anti-virus programs. If you purchase a new computer, you'll need to install a new program or check to see that anti-virus software is included.
Use Browser Extensions
Take advantage of browser extensions, which allow you to freely surf the Internet without worrying about your safety on various websites. Third parties won't be capable of accessing your personal information or viewing your activity if you land on an unsafe domain. Ads will also be blocked as you explore the web, which can make it easier to avoid spam and save more time.
Avoid Using Public Wifi
It may seem convenient to spend time at a local coffee shop or library while using public wifi, but the wifi is shared by multiple people and can put you at risk. You won't be using a secure network if you're connected to public wifi and can make it easier for hackers to steal your information. If you're going to use the Internet in a public setting, avoid visiting any websites where you're required to enter a password, your address, or your credit card information.
Look for Encryption
If you're going to make financial transactions over the Internet, check to see that encryption is present. You can spot encryption if a security lock symbol is present or 'https' is visible at the beginning of the domain name. You can have peace of mind knowing that your personal information is safe while using the website to remain safe.
Use a VPN
VPNs will allow you to send or receive data in a secure network, which will protect any of your information and can prevent it from being accessed by an unpermitted user on the Internet. Find a VPN provider through a website like vpnsrus.com to find software that will hide your IP address and can protect your location as you use the computer.