3 Ways to Protect Your Personal Information When You're Online

To say that smartphones and laptops have made certain tasks a breeze is a major understatement. Don’t have time to shop in person? You can find just about everything online. Despise writing and mailing checks? Now you can pay your bills on your smartphone. You can also connect with friends on social media websites, see your doctor at telehealth appointments, attend worship services and do a variety of other things using the internet.

Unfortunately, doing all these tasks online also puts you at risk for identity theft. To help make sure that your personal and sensitive data does not fall into the wrong hands, keep the following tips in mind.

Use a Password Manager

You probably already know that it’s not wise to use the same password on every website that requires one, and that you should use complex and unique passwords. While this is great advice, it can be hard to remember all of them, and you don’t want to write them down on paper, which may get lost or seen by someone with nefarious intentions.

To keep your passwords organized and easily accessible, use a password manager like RoboForm. It will securely store all of your passwords and then log you into your accounts with one quick tap.

Invest in Protection From ID Theft

It is convenient to shop and bank online, but it also comes with inherent risks associated with entering and possibly storing your financial information online. To help monitor your personal data, you may want to invest in a program that offers protection from ID theft. For instance, LifeLock offers protection from ID theft by using innovative monitoring technology along with helpful “alert tools” to proactively check your credit and finances. If there is anything that looks potentially suspicious — for instance, a credit card or other loan application is created in your name — you will receive a text, phone call and/or e-mail verifying if you are aware of the situation or if it’s potential identity theft.

Be Vigilant About Updating Your Devices and Software

Your smartphone, computer and even apps and web browsers are all updated fairly frequently. These updates offer new features and security improvements that are often much better at warding off hackers than your antivirus software. While operating systems usually update themselves automatically, it’s still a good idea to be sure that you have them enabled for Windows, macOS or Chrome OS. Google’s Chrome and Mozilla Firefox will also update on their own. If you keep your computer and browser up and running 24/7, reboot it every few days to be sure you get all the latest updates. Your phone will also have the same features for automatic updates; if you have an iPhone, you can go to Settings and then General and Software Update. For Android phones, double-check by going into Settings and then System, Advanced and System Update.

Enjoy Online Convenience in a Smart Way

Yes, there are cybercriminals who want to get a hold of our personal information and security breaches can and do happen. But this does not mean you have to give up the convenience and other positive benefits of online banking, shopping, medical appointments and more. By using a password manager to store your complex passwords, looking into an identity theft protection plan and updating your devices regularly, you can rest assured you are doing your part to keep your sensitive and personal data safe and secure.
Previous Post Next Post