Identity theft has been around for a number of years ago – it’s actually on the rise. While many thieves still stick to traditional methods like mail and phone fraud – more and more are turning to online means to try and steal your identity. If you’ve been shredding your mail for a while but aren’t quite sure how to protect yourself online – this article is going to look at some of the main issues and how you can improve your protection against them.
1. Make sure your anti-virus is up to date
This one should be self-explanatory. Make sure you’re protected against new threats by keeping your anti-virus up to date. It could also be a good idea to have spyware and malware checkers and run them regularly. Leaving your computer open to hackers could invite identity theft as well as a number of other frauds.
2. Don’t stay logged in
This is especially important if you use public computers like those in a library or internet cafe. You’d be surprised by how many people simply get up and leave when they’ve finished what they’re doing – without logging out! Make sure you log out of everything before you leave the computer.
3. Don’t share too much on social media
A clever thief will collect all the information they can in order to steal your identity. These days, some people share far too much information about themselves online – and this can be used against them. Things like your location or family birthdays can all be useful to a fraudster. Even your pets name could be used to gain access to your passwords. Try and only share between close friends, and keep important information private.
4. Keep your passwords secure
This doesn’t just mean changing them regularly (although that is important). You should also make them hard to guess and don’t write them down. Some people keep a folder on their computer with all their passwords – don’t do that. It’s also important you don’t use the same password for every site, as losing access to one would obviously lead to more losses.
If you’re concerned about identity fraud, you can check out the best identity theft protection options available.