Top 10 Ways to Protect Your Online Identity
Our world has greatly changed in the last thirty years. The internet is one of the greatest inventions by man. However, it is not perfect. Some people will misuse technology to steal your personal information. You need to protect yourself from thieves and hackers. They only need a little information about you to steal your identity. Protect yourself when you are online. These are my ten ways to protect your online identity.
Do Not Post Identifiable Information Online
First, this method is common sense. Do not post any identifiable information online. This includes your social security number and full address. Thieves only need your social security number to steal your identity. Then, your life can greatly change until the issue is resolved.
Never Use Your Real Name as a Username
Never use your real name as a username for an online community. You are surrendering identifying information to the website’s owner and management. Members of that community would have too much information about you. They could identify you due to your username and management may know your IP address.
Create Different Email Addresses
I strongly recommend using different email addresses for certain types of accounts. Create separate emails for personal use and business. If a person hacks one account, then your information in the other account is safe from this person. It minimizes the damage you received due to hacking.
Use Different Usernames
Use different usernames for every website that you join. People cannot easily identify you on a variety of websites. An unauthorized user will not be able to use the same username for every website. Write a list of your usernames to keep track of them.
Use Different Passwords
I recommend using different passwords on all of your accounts. This method adds an extra layer of security to your accounts. It protects you if a person hacks one of your accounts. A hacker would not be able to use the same password for every account. I recommend keeping a list of all of your passwords so that you may not feel inconvenience in logging into your accounts.
Set Your Facebook Account to Private
You need to protect your media online. I recommend setting your photos for only your friends on Facebook. It prevents other people from gaining access to your pictures. You do not want someone stealing your photos. A person could wrongly use your photos on their accounts.
Add Security Measures
Some websites now offer additional features to protect your online identity. You may add your phone number and special questions for logging in. These measures require extra steps to log into your accounts. Your phone number is the best option. You will always have your cellphone with you.
Avoid Suspicious Websites
Some websites are not what they appear to be. A malicious website may have viruses to attack your computer and steal information. Never browse these types of websites. They pose a major risk to your personal information. Most browsers and security software will display a warning before you enter the site. Always press the back button and find a safe website.
Delete Spam Emails
Spam emails are just like malicious websites. A thief has intentions to steal information if you open the email and click on any links in it. Delete all spam in your email. I advise checking your list of spam before deleting all of it. A few legitimate emails are misplaced there at times.
Regularly Check Your Bank Statements
Finally, check your bank statements often. I recommend checking them at least once a week. Look for any unknown transactions. You can detect if a person has stolen your information. This can happen in two ways. First, a payment processor misused your information for an illegitimate payment. Second, a thief illegally copied your debit or credit card. Alert your bank of any unknown transactions and dispute them.