When it comes to your credit, money, and identifying information, “security” is a buzzword that you can’t ignore. News of hackers, spammers, scammers, and Internet spies has people getting serious about the safety of their sensitive data. Fortunately, there are many great resources out there for helping you protect your personal identity in both the real world and virtual reality. Here are seven of them:
Yes, scammers actually dig through garbage to find information that they can use to steal peoples’ identities. The easiest way to safeguard yourself against that threat is to shred important documents like bank statements and credit card offers before you take the trash out.
Your computer is the easiest and most available route to your personal identifying information, and a firewall is your first and best line of defense. Use a firewall to protect both your computer and your router.
Password keeper Service.
Many people make the mistake of using a very obvious username and password to access online accounts; even worse, it’s not uncommon for people to use the same exact username and password for a multitude of accounts. This can seriously undermine the safety of your personal identity. You should be using a password keeper service like LastPass to generate unique passwords for each of your accounts and store them all in one safe place.
Credit Card Protector.
Today’s scammers have access to technology that allows them to swipe all of the important data from your credit card in just a few seconds, and just by standing near your card! Use a credit card protector to shield your valuable information from these credit card scanners.
Programs like Lo-Jack can be installed on each and every one of your computing devices (including your smart phone) to lead you straight to a thief’s door should your gadget be stolen. It’s worth mentioning that such programming is likely to deter thievery in the first place, too.
Hard drive erasing program. Computer technology evolves faster than dog years. That means it’s likely you will upgrade your computer several times over your lifespan. You need to completely wipe out all of your data on the hard drive before you do that, or else your hand me downs could be handing your personal information right into the arms of scammers.
Virtual Private Network.
A virtual private network (VPN) is a network that you can surf the web through while maintaining anonymity. To surf anonymously is great way to keep your personal identity out of view while online. Research providers on the web to find one that meets your needs.
Predators are constantly coming up with new (and often ingenious) ways of thieving your personal identity. Use these great tools to put a much needed barrier between you and them.