In a world that’s increasingly open and connected, the threat of scams, hacking and countless other forms of personal information theft are unfortunately becoming more prevalent. Some ways of protecting yourself may be second nature by now, such as ignoring calls from unknown numbers and setting up a firewall on your computer. However, there are more ways to protect your information that you may forget about but are just as important.
Shred Discarded Documents and Electronics
If you throw away documents that contain any personal information, you should put them through a shredder before tossing them out to prevent anyone from simply picking them out of your trash. These include bank statements, receipts and credit card offers. Similarly, what many people forget about is to shred the hard drives and SIM cards from their electronics before throwing them out. To take care of these, bring your electronics to a confidential data destruction service.
Use Secure Wi-Fi
Home Wi-Fi networks are typically pretty secure because they use strong passwords and simply aren’t open to everyone. Where you really need to be careful is when you use public Wi-Fi. Networks that are easily accessible pose the risk that a hacker will place themselves between you and the connection in order to intercept your information. The best way to protect yourself is to use private networks only or use a VPN when using public Wi-Fi.
Think Twice Before Sharing
With society more open than ever and the takeover of social media, it’s easy to overshare, even when it comes to private information. If you’re ever asked to provide personal information for a reason that isn’t clearly necessary, whether over the phone, for a business’s service or even for a friend, ask why they need it and what they’re going to use it for. When using social media, you should never share personal information, and that may even include information that can be used to answer security questions.
Don’t let yourself fall prey to theft. By taking some simple precautions and being mindful of your actions, you can effectively protect yourself.