How can I protect my Identity on the web, and who can i trust?
Asked by an anonymous Tumblr user.
Scammers, hackers, and identity thieves are looking to steal your personal information and money. But there are steps you can take to protect yourself.
- Use security software that updates automatically. This will make sure your protected against the latest threats.
- Treat your personal information like cash. Every time you are asked for your personal information, think about whether you can really trust the request
- Check out companies to find out who you’re really dealing with. If you see an ad or an offer that looks good to you, take a moment to check out the company behind it.
- Give personal information over encrypted websites only. To determine if a website is encrypted, look for https at the beginning of the web address (the “s” is for secure).
- Protect your passwords. Create strong passwords and keep them in a secure place, out of plain sight.
- Back up your files. Copy important files onto a removable disc or an external hard drive, and store it in a safe place.
Learn more about how to keep your information safe online.
DNS - Domain Name System - is an Internet service that converts user-friendly domain names, such as www.fbi.gov, into numerical addresses that allow computers to talk to each other. Without DNS and the DNS servers operated by Internet service providers, computers would not be able to browse web sites, send e-mail, or connect to any Internet services.
Criminals have infected millions of computers around the world with malware called DNSChanger which allows them to control DNS servers. As a result, the cyber thieves have forced unsuspecting users to visit fraudulent websites and made their computers vulnerable to other kinds of malicious software.
Check your computer’s DNS settings. If you’re a victim of the DNSChanger malware, you can register with the FBI.
Learn about DNSChanger malware and how it can affect your computer. (PDF)
Do your teens know friend from foe when they’re online? This game will test their knowledge about online friends.
When you spend time online, you could unknowingly be putting your personal information at risk and making it easier for someone to steal your identity.
Use these tips to help keep your personal information safe online:
Choose strong passwords: Make sure your passwords have a mix of letters, numbers and special characters, if the site you’re registering for allows it. And don’t use the same password across multiple sites. If one site gets hacked, the hacker will be able to access your information through accounts that use the same password.
Access personal information from a secure connection: When using a free, public Wi-Fi hotspot, only log in or send personal information to sites you know are fully encrypted. Look for https at the beginning of the web address (the “s” is for secure) and a lock icon at the top or bottom of your browser window. Log out of every site before signing off.
If you realize your personal information has been stolen or used inappropriately, contact the police, place a fraud alert on your accounts, and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.