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While there are various types of identity theft, each revolves around the same premise: someone steals your personal information and uses it without your permission. Cybercriminals are continually using different methods to hack personal data, so it is essential you take the right steps to protect yourself. While there is no infallible way of ensuring your information is secure, you can make sure you are as safe as possible by implementing the following best practices to protect your identity in the digital age.
Get Identity Theft Protection
Unlike having your wallet or car stolen, when your personal information is stolen, you could not even notice. That is because it takes place in the digital realm. To make sure that your information is always being monitored for suspicious activity, it makes sense to use identity theft protection. Identity Guard is one of the best protection services available. Check out this Identity Guard review to find out the specific features. Basically, it alerts you to any risks, so you do not have to spend valuable time scouring the internet manually to see if your personal data may have been exposed. It also features advanced fraud and multiple bureau credit monitoring, bank and credit card activity alerts, a VPN through the mobile app to protect you further every time you go online, and a $1 million identity theft insurance and recovery plan. With identity theft protection, you can avoid having your identity stolen and ensure swift recovery should it happen.
Use Robust Passwords
If there is one aspect of online identity protection that has been necessary since the early days of the internet it is passwords. You are sure to know how important using passwords for accounts is for ensuring your safety while online. But many people still do not know how to create passwords that are as strong as possible. If you use passwords that are easily guessable, such as your nickname or 12345, you are making yourself very vulnerable to hackers. A strong password should consist of words with no meaning, include both uppercase and lowercase characters, and numbers. It should be at least eight characters long but aim for between twelve to sixteen for additional safety. Furthermore, ensure you use different passwords for each account.
However, remembering different passwords for different accounts can be difficult and you need to avoid writing them down. The answer is to use a password manager, which will enable you to create, store, and manage unique and complex passwords for every new account to ensure your passwords are never compromised.
Avoid Public Wi-Fi
Your Wi-Fi connection needs to be secure to further protect yourself against identity theft, so always avoid public Wi-Fi. Places that offer public Wi-Fi include cafés, restaurants, airports, and hotels. If you have no choice but to use public Wi-Fi, make sure you use a VPN, which helps to hide your IP address from cybercriminals.
Set Up Multiple Online Identities
One best practice for protecting your identity on the internet is to set up multiple identities online. You probably have one email address for work and another as your primary personal address, so implement the same strategy for other accounts. For official platforms, you will need to give your real name and details. But there are plenty of online sites where you can use pseudonyms. By using different names and having a third email address for your monikers, you will make it much more challenging for hackers to steal your identity. So, when using things like social media accounts, get into the habit of using multiple identities. That means if your information should be compromised on one platform, it will not also be compromised on another.