Protecting your identity online means following best practices to help you browse the Internet safely and securely.
About online identity protection
Online security includes following best practices while you’re banking online, shopping or just surfing the Internet.
Following these simple guidelines can help protect your identity and allow you to conduct business online with confidence:
- Be selective about the websites you visit. Not all websites are benign. Sites that are engaged in illegal or questionable activities often host damaging software and make users susceptible to aggressive computer attacks.
- Make sure the web page is secure. Always use secure web pages when you’re conducting transactions online. You can tell that web page is secure if there is a locked padlock in the lower left-hand corner of your browser; also look for “https://” in the URL.
- Select a strong password. The best password is an undetectable one. Never use birth dates, first names, pet names, addresses, phone numbers or Social Security numbers as your password. Instead, use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. Be sure to change your passwords regularly.
- Don’t choose “remember my password. You should never use a web browser’s “remember my password” feature for online banking websites.
- Work on a computer you trust. Make sure that your computer is well protected. Firewalls, antivirus software and anti-spyware software will help protect your computer and your personal information.
- Don’t use public computers for sensitive transactions. Since you cannot validate the computer’s integrity, you are more vulnerable to fraud when you log in from a public computer.
- Log off, disconnect or shut down. Always sign off from online banking or any other website that you’ve logged into with a user ID and password. When a computer is not in use, disconnect it from the Internet or shut it down.
- Lock your computer when it is not in use. This helps protect you from unauthorized user access to your accounts.
- Beware of shoulder surfing. This is a common tactic that happens in public places such as coffee shops, airports, libraries and other public places. A criminal can look over your shoulder when you’re logged in to obtain your sensitive information. Be vigilant and aware of prying eyes.
How to protect your privacy
- Update and strengthen the security of your online passwords.
- Use a secure web browser and trusted computer for sensitive transactions.
- Log off when you’re done using websites that require a user ID and password.
- Shut down your computer when you’re not using it.
- Lock your computer when it’s not in use.
- Beware of shoulder surfing.