More and more companies are making their services available through digital channels. These companies are integrating technology through the access of user accounts online, as well as developing mobile apps for easy access to their products and services. From social networking, to viewing your bank statements online, to even shopping the latest trends online – it is incredibly hard to not have an online presence in this digital age. However, the more we rely on technology, the longer the list is of the potential risks to look out for against issues of privacy and identity theft.
The Internet is full of phishing scams and cyberattacks aimed at gaining access to private information. Online services and mobile apps are no longer just popular and widely used. Rather, they are now part of our lifestyle.
Here are a few things to keep in mind to protect your online accounts:
Download the Latest Anti-virus Software
The very first step in protecting your online presence is to download anti-virus and anti-spyware software for all your devices. This software will notify you of all malicious activity, followed by isolating or removing all these threats from your devices.
Be Creative With Your Passwords
Use different passwords for each of your accounts. This will ensure that all your other accounts are safe in case one of them has been compromised. Come up with passwords that are strong and extremely hard to figure out. Do not use words or numbers that are directly affiliated with you – such as your first name, last name, birth date, or phone number. Use a variety of different types of characters, such as – letters, numbers, and symbols.
Be Familiar With Privacy Settings
Look at the privacy settings for all of your user accounts. Read all terms and conditions before agreeing to them. Revisit those that you have already agreed to without actually reading or just to see if there have been any changes made.
Avoid Illegitimate/Fraudulent Websites
Be vigilant when visiting all online sites. Whether you are shopping online, accessing your bank statements, or just casually browsing the latest celebrity gossip – be careful which websites you click on. There are many phishing scams out there that will impersonate legitimate sites. Pay attention to the logo, branding, and URL of a website. Be wary in visiting websites you are redirected to through links sent to you through email.
Look Out For Suspicious Emails
Pay attention to which emails you open. Make sure you do not open emails from unknown senders, click on their suspicious links, or download their attachments. Never respond to emails soliciting private or personal information. Be wary of those impersonating legitimate businesses. Do not share any account information or click on links directing you to company websites. If concerned about the legitimacy of the contents within an email, you can always contact the business directly to verify if they sent you the email.
Be Careful With What You Share in Social Media Platforms
With more and more social networking platforms available, it is easy to end up sharing too much information. Try to become familiar with privacy settings, making sure you know exactly who your posts are made visible to. Regardless of your privacy settings, realize that once you put something on the internet, it is entirely out of your control where your post will end up.
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