Much of a person’s life seems to be stored online, and many people are unaware how easy it has become for someone to steal your identity. This might not be the use of your bank accounts; it can be in other ways where they use your credentials to log into websites, or one way that is on the rise is medical identity theft.
Here a person is faced with charges when their identity has been used for medical reasons, and a bill for thousands ends up on the victim’s doorstep.
To be sure your identity is protected, here are seven ways you can beat the hackers and secure yourself from their online threats.
Although it can be a bind to do, each account should have a separate and secure password. These should vary rather than having combinations of one master password as this makes it easy for a hacker to determine these patterns.
To keep track of all these different passwords, you can make use of an encrypted password manager on your system which can alleviate the worry of forgetting your passwords.
Malware is one of the more significant threats anyone faces at the moment. This can infect your system by clicking on suspicious links or software is installed along with a download and runs in the background without your knowledge.
This malware is an evolution of a virus and now has key loggers programs and spyware programs which search your system for valuable information. All this is then sent back to the hackers who use it for their corrupt purposes.
Anti-malware software prevents these from running or even being installed in the first place. The program checks your system for any malicious activity on your computer and puts a halt to it to prevent any further infection.
Secure your Connection
WI-FI connections are handy to use yet they are ideal for hackers to break into your system. One of the best and easiest ways to prevent this is to sign up to a VPN service provider. Once you have done this all your traffic is encrypted and masked from prying eyes as is your location.
They use the same encryption methods as banks and finance organizations. Although a VPN client is an excellent form of protection for any connection, they are highly suited for protection when in public WI-FI hotspots as they are secure against packet sniffers.
Make Use of More Than One Email Account
It is a safe practice to have more than one email account. If you use multiple accounts, you can separate your personal banking or finance accounts and then another for online shopping and social media.
This prevents all of your information being compromised if one account does manage to become hacked. The second benefit of this is any phishing emails that do end up in your email inbox are quickly identified especially if you receive a banking email in your shopping and social media email account.
Change Your DNS
DNS servers convert the web address into numbers that computers can understand. Many people stay with the standard DNS server that their provider uses.
It is simple to sign up for another DNS service which prevents you from accessing malicious sites. These do offer some protection as well as parental control and are helpful when multiple devices are in use around a home. The most common two being OpenDNS and ConnectSafe by Norton.
If you use any services that offer two-step verification, it should be used. Many services now offer this such as Facebook, Dropbox, and Gmail among others. When this is in operation, as well as entering your password, you have to enter a verification code that is sent to your phone.
Using Gmail as an example, you need to enter a new code every 30 days or if you use a different device to log in. If your email account password does become compromised, they will be unable to log in without this extra verification code.
Facebook and Social Media Sharing
Facebook is continually updating their security features so you should spend a little time to make sure you have your account locked down as well as it could be. One of the first places to check is who can see your stuff in your timeline.
If you have the setting “friends of friends” you should change this to friends only. In privacy settings, you have the option of limiting who can view old posts. This should be set to friends just and covers both past and future posts. The last option is to disable other search engines being able to link to your timeline.
As well as these, any personal information you have phone numbers and address should be removed. At this point, you can also check your likes and groups as the more information a hacker has on you, the easier it is to target you with a phishing email.
BIO: Peter McBryde writes for VPN Streamer, a website dedicated to getting more from the internet and protecting your privacy. Peter has a background in IT and Network systems.
You can also find Peter on Facebook and Twitter.