We are relying more on online information and using technology in our daily lives. We can shop one-click from the comfort of our couch, connect with friends via social media, send emails for personal and professional reasons and use wearable to check our health performances. We are at risk of hackers when we are online or using technology devices.
According to the 2017 Identity Fraud Study, $16 billion was stolen from 15.4 million U.S. consumers. In the past six years alone, identity theft thieves have stolen over $107 billion.
Think about the recent attacks on many companies and retailers like Target. While companies are at a risk of cyber attacks, consumers are also vulnerable.
What can we do about it?
Here are some few tips for your online protection:
1. Install software that protects against malware or malicious software.
2. Use firewall program to avoid unauthorized access to your computer.
3. Use strong passwords with a combination of numbers and symbols. Do not use personal information in your password.
4. Shop from trusted online stores by making sure the sites are authentic.
5. Avoid connecting to free WIFI at public spaces and login into your bank accounts.
6. Sign up for alerts and get real-time notifications from your banks.
7. Be aware of unsolicited emails requiring you to click a link or downloading a file or attachment.
8. Examine your bank account statements frequently.
9. Request a credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies: Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.
10. Sign up for Identity Theft services if it makes sense to you.
11. Be mindful on what you are sharing on social media platforms.
By applying some of the above tips, you are protecting yourself against the threats of cyber attacks.
What are you doing today to protect yourself online?