From the university phishing attempts, to the recent hacking attack of local grocer, Schnucks, internet privacy has been a topic on the minds of the Illinois community. While our own issue has been resolved, Schnucks has not been so lucky. With this in mind, a few helpful tips from The Federal Trade Commission could help you remain safe from future online attacks.
BE ALERT TO IMPERSONATORS
Make sure you are sending your information through trustworthy online portals. If you questions whether someone is trying to breach your personal or financial information, call the company asking for your information to ensure you are not being breached.
SAFELY DISPOSE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
When you’re done with your computer or mobile device, be sure to get rid of all information stored in both. This means clearing all your data, removing data cards, and all information stored internally. Most importantly, don’t forget to recycle your technology in appropriate e-waste receptacles! You can find a proper e-waste bin at your local Target.
ENCRYPT YOUR DATA
The FTC suggests using encryption software, whenever you can, as a means of scrambling the information you send over the internet. If you don’t have this software, most browsers have a lock icon that will pop up in the right hand corner to ensure that your information is being transferred safely during online transactions.
KEEP PASSWORDS PRIVATE
Be sure to use strong passwords with your accounts and personal computers. Instead of making your password the word “password” try adding characters and alterations. For instance, try using “Pas$w0rd”. The most effective tip in trying to keep your information private would be to make every password different for each of your accounts. It may be timely, but it can keep your information safe.
DON’T OVERSHARE ON SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES
Lastly, try limiting the amount of personal information you provide on social networking sites. The FTC suggests never posting your full name, social security number, address, phone number, or account numbers. This information can leave you susceptible to identity theft. Just for enjoyment, and awareness, this advertisement displays how much information you are potentially giving away to criminals.
For more info on identity theft, check out http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/media/video-0023-what-identity-theft