Online Identity Theft. Are You At Risk ?

Online identity theft is a serious  and very real issue.

You may not yet realize it , but criminals spend every  day looking for new ways to steal your information- your birthday, address, social security numbers, and any other information that would allow them to pass themselves off as you. They are also constantly looking for ways to access your credit card numbers,so they can buy that big screen TV they’ve been eying up – using your money.

They are sneaky, they are skilled, and they are persistent. They are continually looking for ways around the protection systems that the good guys have put in place. Since a lot of  good guys have a hard time thinking like criminals — a lot of the times the crooks  are a step ahead of what security is prepared for.

The internet is used mainly for three things – searching, sharing, and shopping. In only a few years, the web has opened up a whole new world where communication is happening that would have never been possible in the past. It’s all great and fun to have that power available for good but if it’s used for bad – it can be very bad…

The goal here is not to scare you into giving up using the internet  all together, but to make you aware of the most common dangers when it comes to online identity theft. This way you can be net-smart and hopefully avoid some of the mistakes that could cost you a ton of hardship, heartache and headache!

So what we have here today is a quick test you can take to find out if you are at risk of identity theft online. I recommend that you print out the questions below and check Yes or No to each to determine if you are doing your part to keep your personal information safe.

Test Self: Am I at Risk of Identity Theft Online?

Do I use a different password for every online account I have registered?
____ Yes ____ No

Is each password impossible to guess?
____ Yes ____ No

Do I have up-to-date virus protection on my computer?
____ Yes ____ No

Do I store my private passwords in a password protected area on my computer or away from my computer completely?
____ Yes ____ No

Do I avoid storing private information (such as banking, credit cards or anything sensitive enough to be used against me) on my computer?
____ Yes ____ No

Do I avoid accessing WI-FI to login to secure areas such as email, banking accounts, etc?
____ Yes ____ No

Do I avoid posting my personal information (such as email, phone, address, etc.) on public websites for all the world to see?
____ Yes ____ No

Do I use due-diligence to ensure that the websites I purchase from are trustworthy and that the shopping cart is secure?
____ Yes ____ No

Do I clear my computer’s history on a regular basis?
____ Yes ____ No

Do I keep a separate email account for anything that will be visible publicly?
____ Yes ____ No

Am I skeptical of any ‘to good to be true’ offers online and protective of giving out my name and email to every offer I find?
____ Yes ____ No

If you answered yes to most or all of these questions then you’ve done a pretty good job of protecting yourself online.

If you answered no to more than one or two questions than you have work to do.

Some of the reasons why people don’t pass the checklist above with flying colors is that they are short on time, money and the technical know-how to set things up. It’s so important that you take note right now and take this seriously. Figure out a way to get this done, even if you have to hire an expert to do it for you.

No matter how little time or money you have right now, it will be child’s play compared the the time, cost and frustration you’ll experience if your identity is stolen. Protect yourself now so you won’t regret it later.

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