Avoiding identity theft online is a challenge for many people today. The Internet has become more and more popular, making everything from banking to shopping online common everyday occurrences. As the number of these online transactions grows, there will be increased instances of hacking, identity theft, and fraud. It is imperative to know how to stay safe online from threats such as Identity theft.
How to Stay Safe from Identity Theft Online
Some people are very protective about identity theft, and they won’t even put their correct birth date or location on their social media accounts. On the other hand, some people send out a lot of sensitive information on their Facebook, Twitter, and other social media pages. There is a fine line between the two extremes and striking the right balance will help you protect yourself and stay safe online.
Avoiding identity theft online is not difficult. It is just a matter of using common sense. Unless you are authorizing a credit check through a secure website, there are very few reasons to ever use your social security number online. The social security number is a major piece of information needed for identity theft, so be sure to protect it from would-be thieves. Your exact birth date is another piece of information you will want to protect. Consciously protecting these pieces of information would help a lot to stay safe online most times.
When you use a credit card to pay for anything online, you have to submit the information needed to process the payment. This includes the 3-digit security code as well as your address. This can be kind of frightening because that is a lot of information that leads to your financial information and identity. Always verify that you are on a secure site before entering these items on an online form. Always remember to protect your identity while performing these transactions and it will definitely pay off in your efforts to stay safe online.
Another way you can protect your identity is to set up a PayPal account. You can link your bank account and transfer money to the account to use for shopping online. When you pay with a PayPal account, the only information that is shared with the merchant is your email address and shipping information. This is a great step in protecting your identity while shopping. Give priority to stay safe online at all times. Everything else is secondary- remember this golden rule!
You can set up an official email account through your ISP for all of your business and financial transactions. Your free email account, such as your Yahoo or Gmail email address, can be used for signing up for email notifications or other web surfing uses. This will make it more difficult for people to get any information about you by hacking into your free email account. It is also important to remember that your bank or credit card company will never send you an email asking you to verify your social security number. Scam artists use this practice, known as phishing, to try to steal your identity.
Use these simple tips to avoid identity theft online. You will be able to shop and perform financial transactions online with confidence. When you know how to protect yourself, you won’t have to worry about identity theft.