Wednesday, April 1, 2020 / by Amy McLeod
Things they are a changing. It seems like every day we are having to adjust to our “new normal” and it can feel overwhelming sometimes. One thing you may not have thought about, but is of vital importance, is protecting your personal information and identity online. With service centers for online payment companies like Venmo and Paypal having limited staffing, and more people than usual shopping online, now is a prime time for hackers. But there are ways to protect yourself. Here is a list of things you can do to make your online presence as safe as possible:
- Change your passwords. This is a great time for you to change passwords on all your accounts. If you’re like me, you may have one or two passwords you use for everything. Now it’s time to change that habit. Pick new passwords that are completely different and not related to anything in your personal life. The 3 Safest Ways To Keep Track of Your Passwords
- Check your credit report for changes. It’s a good idea to check your credit report about once a year anyway. And the good news is that checking it will not hurt your credit score. Look for changes that may indicate that you have been a victim of identity theft or that your personal information has been compromised in a data breach. How to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft
- Learn to recognize when an email is a “phishing” email. Phishing is a cyber attack that uses a disguised email as a weapon. The goal is to trick the recipient of the email into believing that the message is something they need or desire. For example, it might look like a request from their bank or a note from someone in their company and it will ask the recipient to click on a link or download an attachment. It is one of the most nefarious methods of cyber crime. The question is…how do you spot it? 5 Ways of Detecting a Phishing Email (With Examples)
- Don’t use your bank debit card online. Many people try very hard not to use credit cards, but it’s in your best interest to have one to use for online purchases. A credit card is much safer for e-commerce. Credit cards usually come with fraud protection that debit cards don’t have, and disputes with debit cards can be challenging to resolve. If someone steals and uses your debit card information, they can clear out your personal account with the click of a button, and you may never get that money back. If you are worried that having a credit card will cause you to get into debt, look into companies that offer low limit cards and limit yourself to only using it online. 18 Best Low-Limit Credit Cards for 2020
Now, more than ever, it’s important to take care of your physical and mental health. Anything you can do to alleviate stress will help you and this includes protecting your identity and finances.
Photo credit: Forbes