Thursday, July 7, 2011

5 Ways to Protect your Identity Online!

The Internet helps you connect with people the world over, bank online, exchange and share information, buy and sell and do loads of other things that make our lives a whole lot simpler. The problem with that much connectivity though is that it requires you to share personal information every now and them. Naturally, it's becoming harder to maintain privacy and protect your identity online these days.

Today there are many professional hackers who can hack into your email and get your banking and other personal details, leading to online scams and identity theft. But you can avoid that with these seven tips that help protect your privacy and identity online.

Change your passwords regularly: When was the last time you changed your passwords for your email, online banking, social networking accounts? Do you use the same password on every site you use? Have you shared your password with anyone? If yes, then it is high time you change your password. Of course, once is not enough. Make sure to change all your passwords every two to three months. Also, no matter how close you are to someone, do not divulge your password to her.

Hide your IP address: Did you know that your IP address can reveal personal information about you? Yes, that includes your area, city, state, zip code and browse type. Although this may seem harmless you never know who is lurking the Internet, waiting for any information he/ she can get about you and in turn invade your privacy. Install a software on your computer that helps you hide your IP address and your online activities too.

Avoid giving out personal information: We've all received emails from institutions or banks asking for personal details at some time or the other. However, if you've noticed, they never ask you for passwords or bank account details as this information must remain with only you. Hence, if you receive a mail requesting such information, know that it is spam and do not reply.

Use WiFi protection: WiFi hotspots are major platforms for hosting cyber crimes as these can be used by multiple users anywhere around the WiFi area. For securing the WiFi connection, use a password and don't disclose it to anyone. Also use an online anonymity product that shields your identity by passing all of your searches and information through an encrypted VPN tunnel.

Review privacy settings: Don't assume that the default privacy settings on any website will protect your private information. Make a habit of regularly reviewing the settings. It's a good practice to check out your settings after any site changes. If you notice anything different on the site, use it as a reminder to check your privacy settings.

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