Protect Your Identity Online
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Identity theft continues to be one of the fastest growing crimes today. Due to the fact that the majority of us make the choice to submerge ourselves in the world of the “information super highway” and share our information so freely, here are some tips to assist you in protecting your identity.

If you use social networking sites, make sure that the privacy settings on your browser are set up to protect your identity. You can do a Google search for help on how to change those security settings or refer to the “help” section in your browser. Secondly, do not accept friend requests from people that you don’t know. The majority of us were taught about “stranger danger” when we were young, the same principles apply online.

Third, just use common sense in your online endeavors. If you enjoy filling out quizzes or surveys, be careful. Ask yourself the following questions. Do you really know where all of your personal information is going? Is that survey or quiz really legitimate? Did you take the time to read the “terms and conditions” page for that quiz or survey? How is your personal information being used? Where is it being stored? Who else has access to it?

Just remember that if one piece of personal identifying information such as your address falls into the hands of a criminal could mean disastrous consequences for you. Identity theft comes in many forms and these days the phenomenon is not just about the financial aspects anymore. Criminals can use your personal identifying information to obtain state identification cards or driver’s licenses in your name and commit crimes which you may be held accountable for later.

Please don’t increase your chances of becoming a statistic. According to report published by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in the year 2012 there were “16.6 million cases of identity theft” reported from citizens who fell into the age group of 16 years or older. The majority of the victims did not know how their identity was stolen or who the perpetrator was. The numbers are staggering and unfortunately, some of the thefts probably could have been prevented if people would practice their own due diligence and protect their personal information.

For those folks out there who are not “tech savvy”, there are links to various browser security settings that may help you protect your identity towards the bottom of this page of my blog.


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