It is no news that the world today moves at the speed of the Internet. With the touch of a button, you could make purchases, pay bills, get close to friends and family and search for information of all kinds.
But pay close attention; if you don’t know how to correctly handle your personal information, all these benefits can turn into a nightmare because the Internet also provides hackers and scammers accessible information.
Here we sum up some tips from the Federal Trade Commission to protect your identity while you make transactions and surf the web.
- Be careful with personal information requests: Know who you are sharing personal or financial information with. Don’t provide personal information by phone, Internet or e-mail unless you know or trust the person you’re sharing information with. Ignore e-mails requesting personal information or links asking to click on them unless you previously know what it is about.
- Don’t pay attention to personal information requests that are conditioned to some sort of prize or promotion. If you are interested in what is being offered, do an Internet search of the company’s name and call to verify the offer is legit.
- Erase your personal information in a safely manner: Before selling or disposing of your computer or mobile device, erase al information stored in it. Use a disk-cleaning program and erase all data from the hard drive. If it’s a mobile device, consult the manufacturer’s web page to learn how to permanently erase or transfer the data from your device. Erase all data from the contact lists, voicemails, texts, photos, videos and search history.
- Protect your data: Control the security on your browser. Make sure you see the image of a lock in your browser near the web page address. This means that your information is protected when you are doing your transactions.
- Don’t be too friendly: You can’t share your passwords with anybody. Use passwords that are difficult to guess. Useful tip: Substitute letters with numbers or use symbols.
- Be careful with information you share in social media: If you put too much personal information, you will be handing ID thieves your information on a silver platter. This information can be used to answer security questions and access any of your accounts. Never use your full name, address or social security number.
- Don’t abuse Wi-Fi connections: Before sending personal information in any electronic device connected to a free-access wireless network in coffee shops, airports, libraries, hotels, etc., make sure that your information is secured with the lock.
- Limit access to the information: Save your passwords only when it is strictly necessary. Don’t use the option that stores your user name or password automatically and always log out when you are done.
- Read privacy policies of web pages: It’s tedious but necessary to know how protected your information will be on the pages you use to make transactions.
Surfing the web can be safe. Follow these recommendations and minimize exposing your identity. Happy web surfing!