3 Easy Ways to Protect Your Identity Online
We’ve all heard stories of people getting their identities stolen online. Whether in an article or on the news, there’s no shortage of cases for us to refer to.
But how many of us have actually taken measures to prevent something similar happening in our own lives?
The answer is relatively few of us. There’s no denying the fact that most of us don’t take the topic of protecting our identity online very seriously. Perhaps it stems from our assumption that identity theft happens to other people—and is something we won’t ever have to deal with.
If only this were the case! Unfortunately, research says differently. A study conducted in 2019 on identity fraud found that in 2018, 14.4 million consumers fell victim to identity fraud. Among other findings, the study noted that losses from new account fraud (fraudsters opening new accounts under victims’ names) increased from $3 billion in 2017 to 3.4 billion in 2018.
This is all to say that it’s well worth taking steps to protect your identity online. It’s worth remembering that no one is immune to identity fraud. If you don’t know where to begin, here are 3 easy tips to get off on the right foot.
1. Use a Wireless Gateway
One of the easiest ways to protect your identity online is to start using a wireless gateway. If you’re unsure what a wireless gateway is, you’re not the only one. Most people aren’t sure what this device is, let alone why they should invest in one.
Wise Geek defines a wireless gateway as “A device that allows a computer and other Internet-enabled machines to access a shared wireless Internet connection, and is usually seen as a way of coordinating things like modems, routers, and sometimes even cable television or voice applications into one more simplified component.”
So what makes using a wireless gateway so helpful in terms of protecting your identity online? Well, it ultimately depends on which one you use. After all, not all wireless gateways are made the same.
If you’re looking for a reliable one, the Brume-W is the best in its class. It offers multiple VPN protocol support to keep your Internet connection fully secure, and OpenVPN to offer state-of-the-art encryption and authentication abilities. Amazingly, Brume-W even enables you to configure your router to act as a VPN server. That means that you can securely access the server whenever you want. Other than that, Brume-W also comes with Tor service, which helps to conceal your identity and browsing data. These features all make it a true game-changer when it comes to protecting your identity online.
2. Keep Your Passwords Secure
When was the last time you changed your password? Be honest—we won’t judge! Far too many of us are guilty of keeping the same password for months to years on end. And when we finally do change it, we often choose an overly simplistic password.
If you want to ensure your identity is protected online, you need to start following best practices regarding passwords. Fortunately, there are numerous simple but effective tips for making your passwords secure that you can follow.
For example, it’s advisable to make your passwords as complex as possible so they can’t be easily guessed by hackers. You should aim to create passwords that contain a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. That means passwords like your mother’s maiden name and the name of your first pet are definitely off limits!
You should also ensure you don’t base your password on any information that can be obtained online, including social media sites like Facebook. Another key piece of advice is to avoid storing passwords with your laptop or mobile device. Store your passwords securely, and update them regularly following the tips we mentioned above.
3. Be Vigilant
Sadly, many people fall prey to hackers because they fail to take proper precautions when they’re surfing the web. That’s why it’s vital to remain vigilant when engaging in any and all online activities, from work to play.
Here are a few quick but powerful things you can do to be vigilant online:
- Always double-check that a link points to the right destination before clicking it.
- Never open suspicious-looking emails.
- Never share your personal details if you’re not 100% sure a site or source is legitimate.
- Don’t sign up for anything without first reading the terms and conditions.
- Learn what phishing scams are and how to avoid them.
- Remember that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Install a comprehensive antivirus program.
As you’ve now learned, protecting yourself online doesn’t need to be difficult. A few simple actions can go a long way. Some of the tips we shared may indeed take a bit of time, money, and effort to implement, but the payoff of knowing your identity is safe online makes it well worth it.
About The Author
Monica Mizzi a freelance writer, digital marketer, and contributing writer for Watchdog Reviews. She believes that technology has the power to impact our lives for the better—so long as we make conscious choices as consumers. It’s for this reason she is passionate about tracking down the best tech products and showcasing their benefits.