In today's information age, using the internet on a daily basis is a must for many essential tasks. However, every time you use the internet, you are potentially putting your information at risk. For as much great information as there is on the web, there are also a lot of scams and dangers lurking on the internet.|
Whenever you are using the internet, especially for personal or financial uses, it's important to do what you can to protect your credit and your personal information. Here are five ways to help with personal cyber security.
Be on the Lookout for Phishing Scams
It's pretty much a daily occurrence for all email users. You log in to check your email, and you find an Inbox loaded with spam messages. While the spam folder catches some of these, many still get by. Phishing scams are becoming more and more prevalent every day. From emails asking you to respond with personal information to messages containing links to harmful websites, phishing is one of the biggest online scams out there today. You can keep yourself safe by never responding to any email with any of your personal information. Banks and other organizations never contact you via email with password or account number requests. Some tips for how to protect personal information from phishing scams include looking for these signs of a scam: bad grammar, promises of money and rewards, or an alarmist tone. If you suspect that an email is a scam, then it probably is. Always be careful of what you respond to and how you respond.
Check for Secure Websites
Many websites ask you for personal information. Anytime you are prompted to sign in to an account or provide any personal information, be sure the website is secure. An easy way to spot web security is to look for "https" in the URL. When you see this, you can be pretty confident that the site is safe. It's also a good idea to check for other levels of website security, including privacy policies and encryption types. By exploring a site fully, you can better gauge whether or not the site is safe.
Use Secure Passwords and Change Them Frequently
Another way to improve your personal cyber security is to choose secure passwords. A secure password is something that won't be easy for a potential cyber thief to guess. You want to use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters (when possible). It's also important to use different passwords for different accounts. This way, if someone does hack your password, they don't have access to all of your accounts. Finally, you should change your passwords at least once per month to add an extra layer of security. If you ever notice any unusual behavior or suspect that your email has been hacked, you need to change all of your passwords immediately.
Use Up-to-Date Software
Whenever you use the internet, you need to be sure that your browser is updated. If you use an outdated browser, you are opening yourself up to more vulnerabilities. Updated browsers contain extra protection to help with your personal cyber security. You should also be sure that you are using good anti-virus software. There are also a variety of internet security programs you can use for even more levels of protection. Whatever you decide to use, be sure it is reliable and up-to-date.
Get Fraud Protection and Check Your Credit Score
Since it is impossible to keep yourself completely protected against dangers on the internet, a great method of credit protection is to enroll in an extended fraud protection service. These services can include adding a PIN to your credit card for another layer of security or allowing for the use of a virtual credit card number. These precautions can help limit or even eliminate any fraudulent use of your credit card online. Fraud protection can also immediately alert you of specific activity occurring on your accounts or in your name. Checking your credit score on a regular basis adds yet another level of security. It's important to understand what factors are involved in a credit score. There are a variety of factors considered, with most of the weight on your payment history and the amount you owe. By understanding your credit score, you may better spot any unusual activity that might be affecting your credit.
Using the internet is unavoidable these days. Although the internet offers many conveniences and some great resources, it might also lead to credit fraud and online scams. In order to keep yourself safe, you need to constantly monitor your online activity and make sure you are keeping your personal information safe. By using smart browsing tips, you may protect your credit and keep yourself safe from fraud.
Amy Johnson is an active blogger who is fond of writing articles on Finance and educating people to monitor their credit report on regular basis to minimize the risk of fraud. Follow her on Twitter to know more on steps on protecting your personal web space.
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