Online Safety: Protecting Your Identity

If you’re like us, you spend a lot of time online: Shopping is more convenient, paying bills is simple, and don’t even get us started on how easy it is to book appointments. But with all of these conveniences, there is a small price we pay: privacy. While we may think we’re being safe online, it’s usually not difficult for a hacker to gain access to our personal information. This is where we come in! Follow these tips to ensure you’re protecting your identity online at all times.

Use Strong Passwords

It’s easy to use your dog’s name followed by “123,” but simple passwords featuring personal information and numbers in order are a hacker’s dream come true. So take some time to develop strong passwords with random letters and numbers and special characters peppered in. And be sure to use different passwords for each account!

Learn to Spot Scammers

It can be terrifying to receive an email from your bank that claims there’s an issue with your account, especially if it includes your bank’s logo and your full name. But before clicking any links, check the sender’s website and email address to confirm it’s legitimate. When in doubt, call the company the email claims to be, just to double-check.

Set Up Bank Alerts

Identity theft is scary all around, but it’s even more so when it affects your finances. It’s worth researching or discussing alerts with your bank to see what it offers. For example, does your bank decline suspicious transactions or contact you to confirm them?

Review and Monitor Your Credit Scores

Knowing what your credit score should be (roughly) will make it much easier to notice when something doesn’t look right. For example, you’ll be able to see if there are any new credit loans, credit cards, or other transactions that seem odd. The sooner you spot and report these issues, the better.

Be Careful on Social Media

We know you’ve heard this before, but seriously, watch what you post! Don’t post pictures with your address or license plates in the background, make sure your privacy settings prevent strangers from learning your kids’ names, and don’t post any personal info in groups or comments.

Only Shop Reputable Online Retailers

If you see a designer handbag for a price that is too good to be true, it’s probably because it is. Only shop online from stores you know you can trust. A great way to ensure a website is legit is by Googling the company name and reading reviews.

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