Safety First: How to Protect Yourself Online
Identity theft. There are two words worthy of a healthy cringe and a feverish scowl. In 2017, over 14 million American credit cards were stolen and 150 million social security numbers were exposed. Staggering, right?
With numbers like this, you may be wondering how to protect yourself online. It’s an important consideration worth every moment of your time. Below, you’ll find six steps you can enact today to help you protect yourself online.
Watch What You Post
Do you love Instagram? Who doesn’t! It’s image-rich and offers that quick reward from scrolling photos. It’s a happy place where inspiration is garnered and new ideas are explored.
It’s also a scary place where evil-doers lurk. Be vigilant about your posts. Make sure there’s never any personal information in any of your photos. Don’t have yesterday’s mail sitting around. Don’t post pictures of the exterior of your home.
Encrypt Your Data
It’s wise to invest in encryption software. Think of all the data we send online these days, from addresses, to credit card numbers, and even social security numbers.
Encryption software will scramble all those numbers and letters, keeping your information secure. You can read more about the merits of this form of cybersecurity here.
Clear Your Cache
Most of our browsers save our information. Creepy, right? Our browsers can even keep track of all our uploads and downloads. As such, it’s important to clear your history and empty your cache often.
If you just leave it sitting there, hackers can eventually make use of all this information and start breaking into your accounts. This makes a strong case for an anti-clutter lifestyle, especially in our online dealings.
Avoid Free WiFi
It’s so enticing, isn’t it? Especially when we’re traveling. But, free WiFi is as good as standing atop a table and saying, “Come, steal my stuff!”
The man you’re sitting next to could be hacking right into your files as you’re checking your bank account and clearing out your e-mails. Instead, use your cell phone as a personal hotspot.
Be Skeptical of People Just Saying Hi
This relates to the likes of Instagram and Facebook again. If you’re just going about your business, sharing posts with friends and family, and a random stranger reaches out to say hi, be skeptical. Be very skeptical. You may have just been targeted by a catfish.
Now, if you’re online dating, you kind of just have to trust the process and hope the person on the other end of the screen is who they say they are.
At minimum, video chat with them before meeting. But, as for Instagram and Facebook… If someone’s just saying “hi,” be more inclined to pass them by than engage.
How To Protect Yourself Online
There’s a lot you can do when wondering how to protect yourself online. Make it a priority. These are some of the easy steps you can take today.
Here at Addicted to Pretty, we believe life is full of beauty. As you get out there and explore this expansive world, we hope you’ll stay safe and protect yourself, digitally and physically.