Living with a techy hubby has made me somewhat more savvy when it comes to online security. On one hand it is good to be aware of risks that are out there, on the other hand — his paranoia has started to rub off on me. Gone is my single password for every website, I have different complicated passwords of letters and numbers for every site that needs a password. (Do you know how often I have to use the “forgot my password feature”?!!?)
So the big question, how to put my mind at ease. Well after signing up for LifeLock (it never hurts to have some insurance there are a lot of bad guys out there) I make sure that I always follow a few simple, but important, “rules” for sharing personal information online.
Speaking of LifeLock, in addition to monitoring your personal information LifeLocks’s social media channels are a wealth of information about keeping your privacy private. In fact, several of the tips below have recently been shared on LifeLock’s Facebook page. (So there is bonus tip #6, follow LifeLock on Facebook for tons of great tips on keep your personal information private.)
5 Tips To Keep Your Information Safe Online
http vs. https – What’s the big deal about that little “s.” Simply put, http open for hackers vs https (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is secure. When surfing online do not, I repeat do not share personal information unless you see that little “s” – especially your credit card number. That’s right: no https = no shopping.
FYI – that includes Facebook. Yes, even Facebook has the option of surfing with https. Set your profile so that you always use Facebook with https.
Email – Your email is always secure, right. Not so fast. There are certain things you should never email — your social security number, your credit card number. Unless you are someone famous, chances are no one is reading your email, but that doesn’t mean hackers aren’t out there searching for people emailing personal data they can use. Strings of nine and 16-digit numbers are like magnets to the bad guys. Don’t email these numbers. (And I don’t need to tell you not to click on suspicious emails and give them all your personal info, right?)
Don’t shout from the roof tops – I am a social media junkie. I very likely over share, however, there are certain things you should restrict to those you actually know IRL (in real life – told you I was a junkie). Just moved? Congrats, send a post card. There’s no need to announce your new address on Facebook. Is your security question the name of your first pet? Then you probably shouldn’t go posting pictures of dear old Fiddo. Don’t give thieves all the pieces of puzzle to put together.
Cell Phone Security – My phone is so much more than just a phone. I use my phone to text, check email, take pictures Tweet, check Facebook, blog, surf the Internet and more. (Every once in a while, I even make a phone call.) I’d be lost without it. But more importantly, if I lost it the person who found it would suddenly have instant access to my email, Twitter, Facebook. etc. Yikes! Accidents happen, so the risk of loosing your phone is a real one. Safe guard your information by never saving passwords on your browser and password protecting your phone. It’s a pain when you are in a hurry, but locking your phone could save you from identity theft.
Public WiFi – Don’t ya just love going to a coffee shop to relax with a cup of Joe and surf the free WiFi? Me too, but free WiFi comes with a catch — it isn’t secure. I’m not suggesting you can use it, but be careful what you do on it. Probably best to wait to do your personal banking when you get home. You never know who is sitting at the next table over, looking to use the WiFi as a backdoor into your computer. Not to mention prying eyes that could be looking over your shoulder.
Want more tips on how to keep your personal information secure online and offline, like LifeLock on Facebook. While you are there, be sure to play the LifeLock Trivia game. You will be quizzed on 10 personal identity questions and be entered to win one of 10 fabulous prizes – nine people will win a year-long LifeLock membership and one winner will receive $1,000 Visa gift card. Good luck!
This is a partnered post as a LifeLock Ambassador. However all opinions are my own.