Keeping one’s Internet credentials safe and secure should be every computer user’s top priority. Identity theft is a horrible occurence that happens to more than 15 million people in the world each year.
Hacking and account stealing are two subdivisions of identity theft by which people can wreak havoc on other people. A person can impersonate another person online, and he or she can destroy that person’s reputation. Users can protect themselves by implementing some obvious and not-so-obvious strategies:
Pick a Head-Scratching Password
Head-scratching passwords are passwords that other people can’t easily crack using a person’s personal information. Far too many people create passwords that are easy for them to remember. They use parts of their name, birth dates and cities thinking, “This is great! I’ll remember!” Unfortunately, a malicious person can remember, too! Most sites ask users to create an eight-character password that has at least two numbers in it. The user should choose numbers that do not repeat and a word that has nothing to do with anything that someone else could easily guess.
Say No to Staying logged In
Many sites such as Yahoo Mail ask visitors if they want to stay logged in for two weeks. The feature is convenient because it saves the user 10 to 15 seconds. However, the feature leaves account holders vulnerable to hacking, and it leaves account holders vulnerable to having other people read their mail.
Say No to Storage
Personal information storage is a feature that some websites and web browsers have. No computer user should have such a feature intact. Bad software or malware, viruses and hacking programs can get hold of this information and do much harm to a person. Users should deactivate any such a feature by finding the setting and hitting the “off” button.
Change the Password Frequently
Users should change their password frequently to increase the security on the account. Some sites have an automatic password changing prompt, while other sites do not. A computer user should change the password at least once every three months. Protection improves with change frequency.
The previously mentioned tips can help a person to protect the most crucial accounts against identity theft and destruction. Consumers should use those tips and as many others as they can accumulate. Anti-virus software, malware killers and other protective sources can assist with theft protection, as well.