How to protect yourself from Identity theft

Your identity and reputation online are precious just as in the real world. But no matter how careful you are, online crooks will eventually trick you for instance by sending you a seemingly authentic e-mail correspondence from your bank, and you handing them over information.

Below are some tips to avoid a fraudster

Protect yourself from phishing and email spoofing. Never, under any circumstance rely on the appearance or layout of an email. Emails can be easily spoofed, that you think that the email you received came from the legitimate website (say PayPal). You can easily spot the not, by checking deeper in the email itself. Check for the Reply-to if it is the same with the From address; in the case of our example (PayPal), if the From: is [email protected], then the Reply-to must be [email protected] or something that is connected to the domain paypal.com. Be careful though, and check the words letter by letter. Mark the e-mail as SPAM as soon as you think that it is suspicious.

Update your computer software, and use a modern web browser. Patches for your operating system and installed software will give you more security and stability, coupled with antivirus to prevent malware attacks. A modern browser will warn you against phishing websites and other unsafe regions of the internet.

Don’t easily give your password or any other personal information online. Just like the adage, “Don’t talk to strangers”. Never give your information when on a casual talk with someone. You can give your name, but not your entire address, your phone number, and other identifiable information about you. Even on websites, administrators already have a record of your account, so there is no need for them about asking you about your password, though they could ask about verifying your identity if indeed you are the account holder.

Think before you click that button. If you publish something on the internet, you will have no control on how it is being stored or accessed. Don’t publish anything that soon you will regret.

Update your passwords regularly. A monthly password change is recommended, and coming up with alphanumeric and punctuated password will make it harder for someone to guess. Also, use different passwords for different sites. Another rule of thumb is never save your passwords in your computer. If your computer is open someone could just sneak thru your files and get the required credentials. It is best to memorize it, or if you really need to write them down, put it on a piece of paper and store it on a safe location.

Don’t overdo your profile. Be careful with information over the blogs and social networks. Identity thieves that are eager can piece your digital information bit by bit, eventually getting a larger picture, just like a jigsaw puzzle.

Hope this helps!

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