Protecting yourself from identity theft

It's important to stay vigilant when it comes to protecting your personal information online. Criminals are always looking for new ways to steal and fraudulently use your name, address, bank account details, and social security numbers. Here are some tips to keep yourself safe:

1. Never use the same password twice. Different passwords for different accounts help to instantly isolate the problem.

2. Never give out your social security number online.

3. Be aware of phishing scams. Always be suspicious of emails that look legitimate, but are actually fraudulent and only steal to steal your personal information.

4. Use internet security software to prevent cyber criminals from infecting your computer with viruses, spyware, Trojans, and other forms of malicious software.

5. Never send credit card details in an email. Email is not a secure form of communication.

6. Use websites only with secure servers. Look for a lock icon in the status bar of your internet browser to tell if a website is secure.

7. Act quickly if you do fall victim to online identity theft. Contact the police immediately.

8. Look out for grammatical errors. Websites and emails that are riddled with spelling mistakes are highly likely to be the work of cyber criminals. No established company will send you information that contains grammatical errors.

9. Be careful using public Wi-Fi. Unsecured public Wi-Fi networks are common, which means that anyone with the right tools can intercept the data that you're transmitting over the network. Hackers can use this information to steal your identity, access your online accounts, or commit fraud. To protect yourself when using public Wi-Fi, use a virtual private network (VPN) or avoid sending sensitive data over the network.

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