There is no understating how careful you must be with where you deposit your personal information. Now more than ever, hackers around the world spend day and night figuring out ways to steal your identity and personal information, and use it for none other than personal gain. While it may seem like an unlikely scenario, thousands of people fall victim to identity theft every day, which makes knowing how to keep your information safe and secure is more important than ever.
One common and surefire way to protect your information is by requiring some sort of passcode to unlock your mobile device. Passcodes can range from patterns to numerical codes or custom passwords. By setting up some kind of passcode that only you have knowledge, you can make sure that should your phone get misplaced or stolen, all of your information will stay protected. Setting up some sort of antivirus protection can also add a level of security against those seeking your personal information. You also want to make sure that any important information that you have on your phone is backed up on another device. This can be easily accomplished through iCloud for Apple devices or Dropbox if you use an Android device, or even the old-fashioned way with just a piece of paper and a pen.
It’s also a good idea to have the latest antivirus protection set up on your phone. While many only associate virus protection to desktops or laptop devices, smartphones are not immune to malware by any means, so having a mobile firewall can definitely play an important role in protecting your private information.
Like most people, you probably have your most sensitive information stored on your computer which can include copies of your identification documents, but usually also passwords, codes, addresses, sentimental photos and much more. Having the latest software installed from reputable cybersecurity companies like McAfee or Norton provides a much needed layer of security from potential viruses and malware.
Another great way to protect sensitive information is by using strong passwords and activating “two-step authentication” on websites where it is available. Using a strong password will make it much less likely that anyone with malicious intentions will gain access to your information, and two-step authentication will require you to approve of every time someone is trying to log in to one of your accounts.
Phone Calls and Phony Emails
Lastly, if you receive emails from unfamiliar email addresses, or unexpected phone calls asking for your personal address - do not engage in conversation under any circumstances. Scammers and fraudsters exist in every country in the world and can call and email internationally. One important thing to note is that if the IRS or any other government institution genuinely needs your personal information, they will send a request by mail. If you’re unsure about the legitimacy of an email or phone call, just ignore it.
Identity theft and similar schemes happen every single day to tens of thousands of innocent, unexpecting people. In this day and age, knowing how to protect your personal info is imperative so that you don’t find yourself at the mercy of scammers. We highly recommend implementing the tips in this article to create a level of protection for yourself against those looking to profit off of your information.