Don’t Share Your Computer with the World
If you are like many people, you use your computer for many tasks in your daily life, including paying bills, managing your bank accounts and taking care of other personal matters. Whenever you enter this personal information online, you could be at risk for identity theft. It is up to you to make sure you keep your computer secure so you don’t have to be concerned about someone stealing your personal information and using it for their own gain.
Beware of Verification Emails
Verification emails are one of the most common ways people are tricked into sharing their information. Hackers send out emails that look like they come from legitimate businesses and make scary claims that your account may have been compromised or your account has been locked. These emails contain a link you are supposed to click to enter your information and verify your identity. When you click on these links and fill in your information, it is stolen. Always verify these emails directly through the websites, not through the email. If you don’t receive a message on the website, report the email to them.
Use Your Firewall
Many individuals turn off their firewall because when they aren’t set up properly, they can block the sites people want to visit. However, when you aren’t using a firewall, you are leaving your computer open to hackers and others. Firewalls are designed to block potentially malicious activity that will give others access to your computer and the private information it contains. Always use a firewall along with a good anti-virus software. If you are having trouble setting up the firewall, ask for help.
Don’t Log Into Sensitive Sites over Public Wi-Fi
You can find public Wi-Fi in any number of places. If you will be using these hotspots to access the Internet with your computer or other device, avoid visiting sensitive sites that contain your personal information. Even if you are extremely careful, you could be giving someone access to this information. Always make sure you are familiar with the source of the signal to avoid falling victim to a hacker-created network.
Home Security System
One of the first things a thief will go after is a laptop, PC, or iPad. These items are easy to take, often contain valuable information, and are easy to resell. While it’s important to keep track of the way you use your computer, keeping your home locked up and secure can save thousands of dollars in headaches later.
Trust Only Secure Sites
When you make purchases online, you can do so safely. There’s no reason to completely avoid buying things online as long as you know how to do it properly. For starters, only shop from websites that have a good reputation, such as those associated with brick and mortar stores and other major online retailers. In addition, make sure you look for https at the beginning of the address bar instead of http. This will indicate the site is secure and transmits personal data through encryption codes.
Using the Internet can be dangerous if you aren’t careful. There are many hackers out there who have become familiar with how to access your computer and gather your personal data for their own personal gain. While this can be enough to make you want to avoid using a computer altogether, you don’t have to go that far. As long as you take the proper precautions and do what you can to protect your computer and your personal information, you can enjoy using your computer without risking your safety.