Your personal information is always at risk online. Why? Because every day there are hackers trying to get into the databases of the largest corporations and data goldmines, like Facebook and Google, and then exploit that data for their own personal gain.
Things like your address, email, date of birth, employer and even social security number and passwords used online are all at risk. While you can never be 100% protected, there are some things that you can do that will greatly reduce the risk associated with being active online.
The only way to be totally protected would be to remove yourself entirely from online and not use the internet at all. That is impossible in this world we live in, so the only option is to better protect yourself. Use the tips below to help you.
Use a VPN to Browse Online
A VPN (virtual private network) allows you to hide your online fingerprint, so to say, and this makes it harder for hackers to track you and then connect the dots online. If you don’t hide your identity online and they are able to get ahold of your IP address they can use that to find out a lot of identifying pieces of information.
They will then piece that information together using bots and the damage they can do by gaining access to your profiles and accounts is scary. “There are several VPN services that will allow you to lock in long-term deals for low costs. It’s a small price to pay to help keep your online fingerprint safe,” says Chris Moberg of Slumber Search.
Use a Password Key Tool
Many people use the same password on all websites so they do not have to remember so many of them. Then, if the hackers are able to get ahold of one password, they have software that will automatically try that password on thousands of other websites. If you use it on several, chances are they will gain access to multiple points of entry.
This is where major problems like identity theft can occur. Using a password key tool, it will allow you to create just one password to login to it, and then it creates a new encrypted password for all of your accounts.
So, you still only need to remember one, but you are protected by having every single online account you login to have its own unique password.
Create Unique Email Addresses for Every Online Account You Have
Just like they do with your passwords, they will use your email address to try to login to accounts. But, there is a way to prevent that, and it’s by creating a new unique email for every account, from online retailer like Monos to your streaming services from Amazon and Hulu, which keeps you secure.
But, you forward them all to your main email, so that way you only have to manage one. You can easily set this up using Gmail or your own domain name.
Always Use a Credit Card for Online Purchases (Not a Debit Card)
One of the reasons they try to hack databases is to gain access to banking information. “If they get their hands on your card number and have your billing address, they can then make fraudulent purchases online,” advises car audio company owner Tony Rush.
It’s much easier to dispute fraud through a credit card rather than a debit card. Always use a credit card for any online purchases. This way, in the event of a hack that results in your info being used, you can quickly reverse the charges and not be held liable. The same isn’t always true for debit card transactions.