Protect Your Identity Online

How can I protect my identity online?

  1. Protect your computer and smartphone up-to-date security software. Be sure to have any operation systems updated as well as there are safeguards built into the updates.
  2. Learn the signals to be able to spot spam and scams. A popular scam is receiving an email that looks like it is from your bank, with the logo and they even know your name. There will be a link in the email that you should not click on ever.
  3. Make your passwords unique and strong. Do not use the same password for all your logins. Here is the best criteria to follow when creating a password:
    • Over 10 characters long.
    • Use an uppercase letter.
    • Use a lower case letter.
    • Make sure to use a special symbol - these can be found along the top row of a keyboard.
    • No personal information in the password.
    • Always enable 2 factor authentication when available, this has a secondary measure to notify you after a certain amount of times an incorrect password is entered.
  4. It is a best practice to monitor your credit score weekly from Experian, Transunion, and Equifax. You can get a free credit report annually by using this website: AnnualCreditReport.com
  5. Check your credit report for any new accounts, credit cards, loans or transactions.
  6. If you notice any unusual activity, you can freeze your credit report by signing up for a free account at Experian.com.
  7. Only make online purchases from reputable websites. Is there a secure, encrypted lock symbol in the URL address bar? Do they have secure symbols displayed in the check-out phase?
  8. Be safe when using public WiFi or joining an unsecure network. This is another area that your information can be compromised by hacking, allowing the hacker to gain access to passwords, banking information and any other confidential information you may have saved on your website.