With less face to face interactions occurring these days, fraud and identity theft is easier than ever to commit. To avoid falling victim to identity theft and online scams, you need to take certain safety precautions to protect your personal information.
Create Complex Passwords
The more complex your passwords are, the more secure your online accounts will be. Hackers often use sophisticated tools and automated machine attacks to determine passwords, so the more complicated you make them, the harder it will be to crack your code and gain access to your confidential information.
Install Security Software
Install anti-virus and anti-malware software on your computer and mobile phone to protect you from intrusions that can infect your computer and access your personal and confidential information. Security patches should also be regularly installed to keep your security software up to date.
Don’t Share Personal Info
You should never provide your personal information or credit card details over the internet unless you know the person you are dealing with and they have a secure, encrypted line. Even if you receive an email from a company you know and trust, never send your confidential information until you can verify the caller’s identity. Also, avoid posting or sharing anything in relation to your address, age, phone number or personal information on your social media. Hackers and scam artists could use that information to gain access to your bank accounts and guess answers to the security questions.
Only Use Secure WiFi
Free public WiFi can be used by hackers to gain access to your computer or phone. Information sent across unsecure wireless networks can also be easily intercepted. If you can’t avoid using free WiFi, install a VPN. A VPN will scramble the data before it is sent over a public server, making it unreadable to hackers. It also protects your browsing history, location settings, and the passwords you enter that are otherwise on full view to the internet service provider on a public domain.
Do Your Research
If you start meeting people online in chat rooms or dating sites, it’s important to do some background research to ensure they are who they say they are. Google searching their name and pictures, checking their social media presence, and even arranging a background check can help keep you stay safe from an online scam.
Hackers and online scam artists are focused on one thing and one thing only – obtaining your personal data so they can steal your identity and access your bank accounts. Don’t let yourself become victim to an online scam that could leave you bankrupt. If you believe your personal information has been stolen or is at threat, contact us at the Smith Investigation Agency today.