These days, many online activities frequently request your personal information. As such, it's more important now than ever before to fully understand how to protect your identity online. In honor of Cybersecurity Month, we've got a few tips and frequently overlooked precautions you should take when it comes to keeping your sensitive information safe and secure online:
Set strong passwords
Setting strong passwords is a basic but very effective habit to develop. A strong password will include both upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Passwords should be thought of more as paraphrases, in that they should have significant personal meaning to you, but nobody else. The Guardian advocates the use of password-management apps/services such as 1Password or LastPass, to help you come up with and manage your passwords.
"Pro tip: Never leave your lock and key in the same place!"
It's also an excellent idea to store your passwords behind a physical barrier. Never leave evidence of your important security codes on the same device you'll be accessing sensitive information with. For example, If you save your online banking password on your home computer and that computer gets hacked, the hacker will easily have access to both the file containing that password and the online checking account itself. Pro tip: Never leave your lock and key in the same place!
Don't over share
In 2013, there were approximately 1.59 billion social media users worldwide. By 2018, there will be nearly 2.5 billion users, according to projections provided by Statista.
Many social media users post entirely too much about themselves online. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission recommends never posting your full name, phone number, home address, account numbers or Social Security information anywhere on social media. Posting too much about your personal life - while possibly not harmful directly - can be used to uncover passwords or other vulnerable financial information in the hands of a skilled identity thief.
Dispose of the evidence
Shredding your sensitive documents is a time-tested technique of securely disposing of personal documents. In the digital age, it's equally as important.
The Better Business Bureau highly recommends recycling all old electronics as a means of disposing of sensitive records, information and data stored within the devices' memory. If you sell an old computer or cellphone, be sure to securely wipe its memory.
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For more tips and updates on the latest in banking technology, contact Landmark Bank.