1. Use Strong Passwords
The most common way to protect your online identity is to focus on creating strong passwords. When creating a password, choose something that will not be easily cracked or decoded. Never use a word or number that someone can associate with you such as a first, middle, or last name, a spouse or child's name, address, phone numbers, employers, or other identifying letters or numbers. Mix up the letters and numbers used in your password and use symbols and a combination of upper and lowercase numbers when possible in order to protect yourself from online security breaches. Additionally, it is important to never share your password with anyone. It might be necessary to change your passwords a few times each year.
2. Look for Encryption
Before making any sort of financial transaction online, look for signs that show whether the website is encrypted or not. To do this, look for two things: the trusted security lock symbols and the extra "s" at the end of http in the URL or web address bar. When you are on the page that's asking for your credit card information, the "http" changes to "https" when it is a secure site. At the same time, a lock symbol will also appear on the right side of the address bar or at the bottom left of your browser window. These two signals show that the site is encrypted, which means nobody will be able to see information as it's sent to the website owner. This keeps your name, phone number, address, credit card number and other sensitive information from being seen by anyone else.
3. Install Security Suites
Security suites are security programs that keep dishonest people and programs from infecting your computer and stealing information and data from you. This includes blocking harmful software such as spyware, viruses, and phishing scams that can be installed secretly when you are online. Some of the popular security suites include Norton Antivirus, McAfee Virus Protection, Ad-Aware Pro Security, and AVG Internet Security. Be sure to purchase and install one of these suites to protect your personal information online.
4. Turn on Web Browser Blacklisting
The lack of internet security is partially due to the internet browser being used. Many web browsers have additional security options such as blacklisting. This allows you to set the criteria for sites you will be navigating; only secure, trusted sites will be available to visit.
5. Avoid Phishing Scams
Phishing scams use a variety of methods to obtain your personal information and steal your identity. There are many different phishing scams out there, but they can be avoided by educating yourself on how to recognize them. To avoid being the victim of a phishing scam never open emails or attachments when the sender is unknown and don't click on unsecure links from strange emails. Additionally, avoid anyone offering money, unfamiliar job opportunities or requests for donations to charities as this might be a plot to obtain your personal information and online identity.