A Beginner’s Guide to Protecting Yourself Online

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Sometimes, all it takes is a trusting soul and a paragraph of information online for a person to gain access to your account. Whether the intent is an innocent catfish or a hacking mastermind, you can never be too safe with your identity.

What a lot of people don’t realize is that your identity is more than your SSN and your driver’s license – it’s your dog’s name and your birthday. Your identity can even be as simple as your location and your last name.

You will never be 100% safe online. That doesn’t mean you can’t do everything in your power to meet the 99%. In this article we’ll start with the basics:

Don’t use personal passwords.

When you use pets, birthdays, anniversaries, names – you’re basically opening your front door to the general public. You’re better using a short (random) combination of letters and numbers. Write it down with paper and pencil. Keep it somewhere safe until you can recall it from memory and then, burn it.

Lock up your online accounts.

It’s tempting to let the general public into your life – it’s like having fans…until it’s not. If you leave your social media profiles open for any goon to look in at, you’re risking the wrong person finding your private information and using it against you. Go into your privacy settings and max them out. Use this website and Google to help you.

Do not fall for a catfish.

Falling for a catfish could mean falling for a hacker. Have you seen MTV’s show Catfish? Nev and Max make it look easy because it is easy. Do not give out any personal information until you know they’re legit. Video chat them. Reverse image search their pictures. Do the same thing with their phone number. Utilize Google – if you don’t know how to do something, research it.


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