You’ve heard of hackers and phishing scams and data breaches, which are just some of the ways that criminals can gain access to your valuable personal details to do things like harm you financially or steal your identity. It’s definitely scary to think about all of the ways that your life could be turned upside down by people who want to steal your information.
Whether you want to protect yourself from hackers or from strangers, there are ways that you can make your personal information more secure, and we’ve compiled a few tips below to help you get started.
Remove Your Personal Information from the Internet
One smart way to protect your personal information on the internet is by making it really hard to find that information in the first place. Start by going to your preferred search engine and typing in your full name to see what appears in the results. You might be shocked to find that your personal details, such as your age and contact details, are readily available to those who want it. A great example is a site like Radaris, where you need to request removal of your details by going to the Radaris opt out page.
Another commonly used people search site is PeopleFinders, which also makes it easy to gather information about a total stranger or someone you know. Once again, to protect your information, it’s a good idea to head to the PeopleFinders opt out page.
And yet another one of these databases, to give you another example, is Spokeo. There is a Spokeo opt out option, so it’s worth taking the time to remove your information from this site as well.
Be Careful About Sharing Your Personal Information
In addition to having your personal information removed from websites that are hosting it, such as people search sites, it’s equally important to take steps to ensure you only give out your personal details to people and businesses you totally trust.
The same rule applies to social media. In an effort to protect your personal information, it’s a great idea to always keep your profiles private and viewable to people you know and trust. Beyond that, it’s also important to avoid sharing too much information that could make it easy for people to end up taking advantage of you. You might not even realize just how much info you’re giving away about yourself until it’s too late, so be cautious.
Be Aware of Phishing Scams
Did you know that there are a lot of phishing scams out there, and people fall victim to these scams every day? Basically, when you get an email or a text message from what seems like a real company that you’ve done business with, it might actually be sent from a scammer who wants to steal your personal information. Yikes!
So, if you get an email stating that there is a problem with one of your accounts, don’t click on any links. Check the email address that it was sent from, as it might immediately alert you to it being a scam. You can also contact the company directly for confirmation of whether or not the email was legit, or you could even sign into your account through the actual website to see if there are any messages for you there.