TEN-POINT GUIDE TO PROTECTING YOUR IDENTITY ONLINE
1. Keep your wits about you at all times
Understand the risks and operate on the internet in the same way as you do in the offline world, with caution and appropriate skepticism. With simple precautions, it is safe to use online banking and traders.
2. Question why a Web site is asking for information about you
Think about whether it is with someone that you want to give your details. Only use secure web sites and also use common sense.
3. Never give any online security details to anyone unless it is completely necessary
Always be cautious if you share your dorm room with other people. Consider passwording your computer to avoid unnecessary access.
4. Always protect your password
It is a good idea to change your passwords often and to avoid standard passwords like family members' names. When creating a password use a combination of letters, numbers and even special characters, like an exclamation mark when possible. This will make for a more safe password. Do not use the same password for every secure site you are registered with.
5. Never click on links in emails
Always type the web site (www) address for banks, financial institutions and retail sites into the browser address line. You may also safely store them in your favorites folder.
6. Keep up-to-date
Keep your security software (anti-virus, anti-spam, anti-spyware and firewall), operating system and applications up-to-date at all times.
7. Remove the spies
Check all files on every computer that is connected to the internet at least once a week using anti-spyware and adware applications.
8. Keep your connection secure
Make sure everyone who uses the computer understands the precautions they need to take when online. Do not leave your broadband connection switched on if you are not using it and if you use a wireless modem, ensure you set it to use at least 128-bit encryption if you are registered for online banking.
9. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is
Don't open emails or go to sites that claim you have won a prize, unless you've entered a specific competition. If an email looks suspicious and is unsolicited delete it and don't open it.
10. Know where to go for help should you be a victim of online identity theft
There are wide range of organizations and groups that people can turn to for advice should they be the victim of online identity theft.