SUMMARY: Safely browse the web and protect your personal information with these tips.
School is now in session, and most students are participating in some form of virtual learning. Online experiences can be great. You can connect with others, stay productive, learn, and shop. But it also puts you at risk of becoming a victim of identity theft or scams. The good news is there are steps you can take to protect yourself – and they’re easy!
Use secure sites. You can tell if a website is secure by looking at the URL. It should have “https” instead of just “http” at the beginning of the address. Your browser will also display a padlock symbol on secure sites, and you can check a site’s security certificate. Never enter personal information on a website that doesn’t offer these layers of security.
Build a strong password. “Password” or “123456” are not acceptable passwords. Make your password unique, ideally a sentence of several words, and try to incorporate special characters, numbers, and a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters.
Enable multi-step authentication when available. This login process provides an added layer of security to protect your account. It typically involves an additional step or two to verify your identity, whether through security questions or entering a code sent to a recognized device.
Don’t save your financial information on shopping sites. We know it’s inconvenient, but enter your credit card information each time you make a purchase instead of saving it. By doing this, you are protecting your financial information if someone were to hack into the site.
Taking these steps may add a few minutes to your online experience, but it can save you from a lot of hassles, headaches, and even help prevent financial loss.