With so many online accounts being used by everyone, certain regular functions can be easily available by just logging on to the Web. Internet users are permitted to create multiple accounts for online banking, credit card services, loan payments, online shopping, retail websites, email accounts, social networking, or a number of other options. Because remembering user names and passwords for all of these accounts can become difficult, many users utilize the same, basic password for every account. This is a big risk to identity theft.
Individuals who make a living hacking into someone’s web-based or online account can get access to some very private information. In fact, most of the highly successful hackers who steal confidential information for a living are experts in online security. As a result, they are able to retrieve login details for many of the accounts that are most commonly used by most people. This is why extra care is needed when ensuring online security.
There are several strategies that can be used to maintain a safe interaction with your accounts. Remember that password theft is still a very successful crime even if the hacker never reaches your private accounts. Make sure that you are not the next victim!
1. Never share your password with anyone else.
Even sharing a password with a close friend or relative will compromise the safety of your account. Since many users tend to write their passwords in a note that can be found in their garbage, it is easy for a hacker to retrieve your password from such correspondence.
2. Use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.
The use of characters such as $, #, & are very effective in preventing password theft. Longer passwords are also easier to remember, so using alpha-numeric characters will also provide added protection.
3. Do not forget to log out of your account after using it.
To ensure that you have a safe browsing experience, make sure that you log out of your website every time you have finished. This prevents automated scripts from collecting your private information that may be used for identity theft.
4. Avoid filling out forms in email messages that ask for personal information.
Many hackers send unsolicited emails that ask for personal information in order to verify if the email is actually from the company. Legitimate companies will not ask for such information via email. Therefore, avoid opening emails that look suspicious. If you feel that the email may be legit, contact the company about its legitimacy.
5. Do not click on links that look suspicious.
Binding a link that looks suspicious is a very dangerous thing to do. When you click on such links, you are encouraging the hacker to access your account. Therefore, make sure that you carefully inspect any link before clicking. If you think that the link is trustworthy, then comment regarding that provided link so that others may know about it.
6. Do not open attachments that have a double extension.
When you open a file attachment that has a double extension, such as text/vbs, the other file will be hidden. Therefore, you cannot see the file inside the attachment. If you want to view the hidden file, you will have to use some other means, such as using task manager to kill all the processes related to the vbs file.
7. Do not select “pretend” files that are hidden.
It is easy to select “pretend” files that are hidden files. Since the files are hidden, you cannot see them unless you have “access” to the “frame”. Therefore, it is easy to select the “pretend” files that will not be found by unauthorized people. Selecting “pretend” files also allows you to delete other files on your computer since the file will be hidden and therefore, cannot be contacted.
8. Delete other files that are related to pop-ups or spam.
Many unwanted pop-up messages and spam files are attached to normal applications or files. Therefore, it is easy for hackers to recover such files and use them for damaging your computer. Therefore, it is important to remove such files and files that are not needed.
These tips came from some of the best online security consultants that I have met during my travels. I highly recommend that you read the information on their websites in order to gain insight into what are some of the threats online and how you can protect yourself from them.