Password Protected: Computer privacy starts with smart choices

Despite all the stories of computer privacy, hackers, stolen credit cards or debt cards or just about anything you can conjure up when you’re talking about the subject of protecting yourself from fraud, you still manage to run into those who believe there’s really nothing to worry about at the moment.

Or ever.

If you’re someone who has had this happen, you’re all over any tips or tricks you can use to have your identity protected and make sure what’s happening on your computer is just specific to you and no one else.

As much as you want to be super specific and try to do everything possible and then five more things, you really can spend the majority of your time focusing on two key elements of identity theft, preventing it and making sure you’re not a victim in that regard.

The first seems simple, but yet overlooked. You’re probably used to always changing your password at work, perhaps as often as every 30 or 60 days. Your company is making sure your password is kept fresh and unique, and you should take that to heart when it comes to your own computer.

That goes for the password to not only get on to your computer, but also email as well, particularly paramount if your email contains receipts or other pertinent information. Passwords should be difficult, and if you can’t remember it, then write it down and put it somewhere safe. Surprisingly, the most popular password still is 123456, but you should get in the habit of not going with the safe choice and instead something that is familiar but not so easy to figure out by a hacker.

Beyond the password, you still find individuals using WiFi that is public, meaning that it isn’t password protected (although thankfully that trend is going away with most locations that offer this as an added service). There isn’t so much an issue with using public WiFi if you’re checking sports scores or news in general, but steer clear of using it to check email, send email or, worse yet, navigating your bank account, making transfers.

This also includes paying bills online as those account numbers are out and for anyone to see. If you begin to underestimate those who hack into accounts, you’ll be the one left to pick up the pieces, and that means calling credit card companies, your bank or even Gmail or Yahoo to let