Avoid suffering from identity theft, don’t take the task of securing your vital data lightly… There are four basic ways to do this: make sure who you are sharing your information with; delete your personal information, particularly your Social Security number; make sure before sharing any information that could be personal; and keep a good degree of protection on your computers and mobile device.
Protect your personal information on the internet
Know who you share your information with. Store and delete your personal information securely.
Stay alert to simulators
Know who you are giving your financial or personal information to. It may be a very old trick, but many people still fall for it, always avoid giving personal information by phone and email, companies will rarely ask you for that. Do not click on any link if you receive an email from a company that affirms to have an account with you and that is asked for personal information. It is a more safe choice to contact the company yourself. Or call the customer service phone number listed on your account summary. Or call the phone number registered on your account summary for customer service. Ask if the company sent that email asking for the information.
Delete personal information
Before you get rid of your computer, delete all the information stored on it. Use a sweep program to overwrite and clean the whole hard disk.
Read the device manual, the service provider’s website or the device manufacturer’s website before throwing away a mobile device for instructions on how to permanently delete the information and how to transfer your personal data to a new phone o pc. Remove the card from a mobile device. Delete phone book and address book data, dialed and received call lists, voice messages, sent and received text messages, organizer folders, search history, and photos.
Encrypt your data
Control the security of your internet browser. To protect your internet transactions, use an encryption program that encrypts data sent over the internet. When a tiny image of a “padlock” appears in your internet browser’s status bar that indicates your details will be secured during transmission. Before sending vital data on the internet, look for the lock.
Don’t share your passwords with anyone
Use strong passwords for your laptop and to access your credit, bank and other accounts. Use your imagination: think of a special sentence, and use each word’s first letter to create your password.
Don’t share too much information on social networks
If you upload too much personal information, your life information can be found by an identity thief and can use it to answer the “key” verification questions to try to access your accounts, and also your money and other personal information. Consider setting limits so that only a reduced amount of people can access your social media page. Never disclose information about intimate things like your full name, address, social security numbers in sites that are public.
Protect your computer and mobile devices
Use security programs
Install anti-virus and anti-spyware programs, and a firewall. Set program preferences so that protections are updated frequently. Be very attentive to viruses and malware that may affect the security of your computer and access your valuable files or passwords, so remember to periodically update your security software.
Avoid phishing emails
Do not open files, click links, or download programs submitted by strangers. By clicking on unknown files you risk opening malicious software or spyware that can access your passwords and record everything you type on the keyboard.
Be cautious about using Wi-Fi connections
Before sending personal information to a cafe, library, airport, hotel, or any other public place from your phone or your laptop over a publicly available WiFi, check if your data is being protected. When using an encrypted website, keep in mind that the only protected information is what you send and receive to and from that site. If you use a protected wireless network it will encrypt all the details you submit through that network.
Close access to data on your laptop
Only save financial information on your computer when necessary. Don’t enable automatic connection option that stores your username and password, and always disconnect when you finish using it. In that way, it would be more complicated for the criminal to access your sensitive details if your device is hacked.