Identity Theft: Easy Tips to Protect Yourself

1. Create a strong password

Sorry Spot, but pets' names should never be used as a computer password. Neither should numbers from your birthdate or social security number. Experts recommend using a combination of letters, numbers and symbols for generating the most hack-proof passwords.

Don't use the same password for everything and don't let your computer automatically save your password for you. It may take a few extra minutes to login, but that's nothing compared to the time you would have to spend dealing with the negative effects of identity theft.

2. Use a secure internet connection

There are hundreds of thousands of Wi-Fi hotspots popping up across the country that allow you to wirelessly connect to the Internet whether you are at the dog park or the coffee shop. But these are also prime targets for cybercriminals. Hackers can set up fake, but genuine-looking Wi-Fi networks and lie in wait for users to log on. The hacker then scans laptops logged into the network for credit card numbers and other personal information. To keep your personal information secure, the best option is to only use a password-protected wireless connection, or use a hardwired Internet connection from your home.

3. Get your computer in fighting shape

Make sure you have firewall protection installed on your computer. A firewall puts up a virtual wall between your computer network and the outside world and prevents malicious traffic from coming in.

Along with a Firewall, make sure your computer is installed with up-to-date antivirus software, such as Norton 360, which can be purchased with a discount. Hackers can attempt to install spyware on your computer to get sensitive personal information, but having an active antispyware and antivirus enabled on your computer will help your computer fend off these types of cybercrime.

By: CouponPal

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