While the Internet has been an amazing addition to modern life, there are problems that come along with it. One of the biggest threats that you face when you are online is having your identity stolen. If that happens, thieves can use your identity to run up big charges in your name and ruin your credit. To prevent this, you must take steps to protect your identity. Follow this guide to protecting your identity online.
1. Beef Up Your Passwords
One of the most essential things you need to do is to use strong passwords for all of your online accounts. You should not use the same password for each site. Instead, you should have a different secure password for each of your online accounts. Make sure you use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. You should use both lower and uppercase letters. Do not use common words, your birthday or other easy-to-guess elements in your password.
2. Use Two-Step Authentication
You should take advantage of two-step authentication on any site that offers it like Facebook and Google. Two-step authentication requires you to use a separate pin number that is sent to your cell phone whenever you want to log in. It may seem like a royal pain when you are logged out, but two-step authentication makes your online accounts as secure as possible.
3. Set Up Login Notifications
Another feature you should always take advantage of when it is offered is login notification. When you have the login notification option selected on a site like Facebook, you will be notified via text message and email anytime that your account is logged into from a new IP address. This ensures that you will instantly know if any hacker gains access to your account. When you receive a login notification, it allows you to quickly change your password before the hackers can dive too deeply into the identifying information that is available on the site.
4. Do Not Store Your Credit Card Information Online
It may seem tempting to store your credit card information on retail sites like Amazon to make online shopping convenient, but it is a bad idea. If you have your credit card information stored online and a thief gains access to your account, the thief can quickly rack up thousands of dollars of charges after gaining access to your credit card information. Although it may seem like a hassle to input your credit card info each time you make a purchase, it is a lot less of a hassle than trying to clean up the mess after an identity thief steals your credit card number.
This is another feature offered by many websites that seems convenient but is a recipe for disaster. If you have several accounts linked together, a thief only has to hack into one account to do a lot of damage. By accessing one account that is linked to several others, a thief can quickly gain access to loads of your personal information.
The last thing you want to face is identity theft. It can take years to clean up the damage after a thief steals your identity. Identity thieves can ruin your credit, prevent you from accessing your online accounts and empty your bank accounts. Make sure that you follow these tips to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of online identity theft.