In today’s world, the internet is a necessity. We use it for everything from paying our bills to watching movies. It is also a place where all of our information can become exposed and vulnerable, which is why it’s important to take steps to protect our private data.
This article will provide tips on how to keep yourself safe online by creating stronger passwords and being aware of scammers that try to steal personal information through phishing emails or fake websites/apps that look real but are actually fronts for hackers. Using these simple strategies can help you protect your valuable identity when using the internet.
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Different websites have different rules on how long your password can be or if letters, numbers, or special characters are required. The best password is one that is at least eight characters long and has a combination of upper case letters, lowercase letters, special characters, and numbers. A great way to remember all these different combinations is to use a passphrase for your password, like “Ilike todrinkchocolatemilkshakes.”
If you can’t recall your password, there are websites that allow users to reset their passwords by answering security questions or sending a password reset email to the registered email address on file. Be wary of scams where hackers pose as a website asking for these types of details because they could potentially have access to all of your private information.
When using the internet, it’s important to receive legitimate emails from trusted sources. A common way scammers try and steal personal information is through phishing emails pretending to be from a bank or other credible source asking you for passwords or credit card information. Another way is through a fake website or app that looks exactly like the real thing but actually isn’t. When signing up for new apps or websites, double-check to make sure it’s legitimate and not a scam by going directly onto the company’s website and searching “is this site safe?”.
The internet can be a scary place if you don’t take precautions in protecting your data. It may seem unnecessary to have different passwords or accounts for each application or website, but it will help keep you from being hacked if one account has been compromised. In today’s society, we use the internet as a utility and an entertainment source, so having strong passwords and staying aware of scammers can help keep you safe while doing both of these things.
Have you received a phone call from someone claiming to be from your bank or another service provider? Do they ask for personal information or request that you log onto a website where they can confirm some of the details of your account as proof? If so, this is likely a scam. Scammers pose as representatives from legitimate companies to get access to private information such as social security numbers, credit card numbers, and passwords. It’s important to know that most banks and other companies would never contact their customers through a phone call asking for these types of details out of the blue.
Protect yourself by remembering this: your bank will never initiate a phone call asking for your password and will always have another way of contacting you if your account has an issue. Likewise, credit card companies will not call you to ask for the 3-digit security code on the back of your card, and utility companies would never have a reason to contact you about your service being disconnected because it’s automated. These are all examples of scams that try and collect private information from their victims. Other ways to protect yourself against this scam are to hang up the phone if they start asking for personal details over the phone or by checking in with a family member or friend after receiving a suspicious call to make sure everything is fine before giving out any information.
Scan the Dark Web if you’re worried that your information might have fallen into the wrong hands. The dark web is a set of websites that require special software to access, making them hard to find unless you know what you’re looking for. Dark web users maintain anonymity by hiding their real IP addresses and encrypting their data, meaning it’s very difficult for law enforcement or hackers to track them down. It allows criminals to share illegal services with each other such as selling guns, drugs, counterfeited money, etc.
Remember to always be aware of your surroundings when using the internet. It’s easy to get wrapped up in entertainment, banking, emailing, or whatever you’re doing that you forget about the threats that exist every time you go online. While protecting your internet privacy is important, it’s also important to be aware of the people, apps, and websites you interact with on a daily basis. If you become a victim of identity theft or experience some other type of cyber-crime, make sure you act quickly by filing a police report right away. This will help speed up the process of cleaning up your credit score and stolen personal information.