What if you could go online each and every time without ever having to worry about being stalked by online criminals?
Even better, what if you could do your daily financial tasks without ever thinking about becoming the next identity theft victim?
In a perfect world, both of those issues would have zero percent chance of happening.
In the real world, however, all too many consumers know what it is like to be a victim of identity theft, online crimes and more.
With that being the case, are your online footprints being tracked?
Cover Your Tracks at All Times
So that you can marginalize any criminals with bad intentions directed your way, your first need to make sure you have someone looking out for you.
So, just who might that person or company be?
If you are not already aware, there are companies out there that can provide you with great protection services at an affordable price.
Whether you consider IdentityGuard.com or another such provider, the important fact is that you have a protection plan to cover you. Without one, you are essentially taking chances that could easily come back to bite you.
Once you have a protection place to cover important matters such as anti-spyware, firewall protection, child ID protection, credit reports and much more, the key then is to make sure not only that protection stays in place for years to come, but that you also use some commonsense.
When it comes to the latter, just about everyone has done something (oftentimes more than one thing) stupid at times as it relates to protecting their identity.
Such mistakes can include actions like:
- Being too talkative on the Internet (especially social media sites);
- Not properly disposing of personal papers (bank statements, Social Security letters, credit card statements and receipts, tax documents etc.) when they are no longer needed;
- Downloading emails (see more below) that you think are safe, only to soon discover that they can malware;
- Sharing computer user name/password log-in information with others. This should not be done even with family members (outside the home) and close friends. Remember, you can’t say for sure whether or not their Internet access is 100 percent safe, so you could be exposing your online identity when giving out such personal information;
- Leaving sensitive personal financial information sitting around in public. For example, you go to a public library to use a computer to check your bank account online. You get distracted for even a moment and someone nearby is copying down account info and other pertinent details.
Avoid Falling for Malware Attacks
As smart as you might like to think you are, you’ve probably done this mistake at least once in your online life.
You receive an email from someone (might even be an individual close to you) that asks you to download an attachment. While all may look on the up-and-up, the trouble could be just starting.
More identity theft thieves have turned to trying to catch consumers at their most vulnerable times, that is when they get emails from those they think are trusted sources. In turn, there is an attachment with a virus in it just waiting to infect one’s computer.
What then oftentimes happens is that the virus gets spread from one to another, creating a treasure-trove of opportunities for thieves to strike it rich.
Always double-check the email sender (even if it is someone you know) before opening it. There may be a request to open an attachment, a request that upfront looks legitimate, but is in fact a virus waiting to spread over your computer.
Finally, be extra cautious if you have children at home using a computer.
Kids can be natural targets for not only identity theft thieves, but also child predators. The former figure a child may accidentally give out some family personal information, while the latter will try and strike up an online conversation with a young one, hoping he or she also offers up personal information (home address, phone number, where a parent works, where they bank etc.).
Teach your children from day one when they go online about how important computer safety is to their world and of course yours.