Protecting Your Online Identity: Simple Steps to Avoid Identity Fraud from Technology

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Invest in Antivirus Software

Stop your computer from getting sick and causing identity problems. Image by IntelFreePress

Investing in good quality antivirus software is essential if you want to protect your computer from hackers.

There is no excuse not to have any, as there are many free packages available that offer decent protection.

The antivirus packages will scan emails that come through to check for Trojans, check anything downloaded to make sure there is no spyware, and check all websites you visit to make sure the pages are safe.

Once you have your antivirus software, scan your computer once a day.

Most packages will give you the ability to set the program up to automatically scan the computer every day, usually when you’re not using the computer.

Perform Software Updates

Whatever browser you use for surfing the web, and whichever antivirus program you choose, make sure you have the fully updated versions. These updates fix any bugs found in older versions, and offer you the top level of security. You should be informed when there is a new update available and will often be given the option to update automatically, which will help you save time.

Avoid P2P Software for File Sharing

While you can gain quick access to software, music and movies, peer-to-peer software is not the safest. There are many chances that you will download a Trojan virus or a keystroke logger onto your computer. Keystroke loggers track everything that you type, which means that the hackers have access to all details inputted onto the computer – that’s everything from usernames and passwords to personal emails.

Educate Your Children

Your children need to know the dangers of being online and talking to strangers. As soon as they are old enough to understand, inform them about protecting information online. When they are too young to understand, limit or eliminate unsupervised use of the Internet, or use parental controls which will limit the websites they can access and the people they can add.

Are your children aware of the dangers online? Image by whiteafrican

Protect Your Computer Identity

While protecting your online identity, think about the information that you just store on your computer. Never store information about your passwords, bank details or other financial information on the computer. Your child’s friend may copy down the information, or a thief may have access after stealing your device.

When you delete information from the computer, make sure that it is completely removed. Just removing it from the trash will not be enough, as it will still be stored somewhere deep in the hard drive – you have to actually overwrite data to eliminate it.

Start Protecting Your Online Identity Today!

Start taking these simple steps to protect your identity today. The Internet is a fun place, and full of websites that help you learn and socialize, but there are also many hackers, scammers, and people simply after your information. Protect yourself with the steps above; change your passwords regularly, don’t give out your information to strangers, and make sure your children are aware of the dangers.

Resources:

Rubenking, N. Twelve Simple Steps to Protect Your Identity Online. Fox News (2007). Accessed December 4, 2012

Arthur, D. 15 Must-Know Tips for Protecting Your Identity. Bank Rate. (2004). Accessed December 4, 2012

Akishore. How to Protect Your Computer from Hackers, Spyware and Viruses. (2004). Accessed December 4, 2012

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