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The internet has become a breeding ground for fraudulent activity and it doesn’t matter who you are or how you use the internet, you can easily become a victim if you don’t keep your online identity secure at all times.

Many of us now use the internet for everything from doing our daily banking, paying bills, ordering groceries and buying larger items such as appliances, computers and books. There is a choice of great auction sites and we all enjoy the benefits of a good deal and the ability to buy something at a reduced price, which is easier to find online than wandering shop to shop.

At the same time we hear of people who have had their entire identities stolen, their bank accounts have been drained and their online accounts compromised. This is due to the fact that they didn’t keep their identity safe, they either gave their private password out to someone or they didn’t take the right measures to protect their computer.

Password Protection is So Important

It still amazes me how many peoples’ home networks are not password protected. This is the first step to securing your identity. Whether you are on broadband or cable, you must password protect your modem and computers. This ensures that no one else can get on and access your computer.

Your computer should have a good anti-virus package such as the McAfee antivirus to ensure that it clears and advises you when a virus is present. Viruses can not only damage your computer, but there are many that will access all your private information and then use it for their own advantages.

When you log onto a site where you are going to use your debit or credit card online, such as your internet banking. Always ensure that the URL has a padlock next to it, companies are working hard to ensure their online payments are as secure as possible, using encryption to reduce the risk of someone being able to access your card information. This is still a big risk for many, so always watch out for the little padlock at the top of the page next to the URL to ensure that you are accessing the banks website.

Delete Spam Emails

The biggest problems many of us face are spam emails. You probably receive a couple each week advising you of new banking services or something to do with an account which you must verify. These emails offer you a link. To be sure it came from the source the best course of action is to sign into your account outside of your email and then verify anything they want on their secure pages. The link could have been sent by anyone and once they manage to get their hands on your username and password you have damaged your security.

Don’t get me wrong the internet is a fantastic place to shop and offers you the best conveniences in terms of time-saving, ease of use and affordability. It’s the taking care of your identity that’s important. When you walk into a store you only part with your debit card when you are standing at the till when you can keep an eye on the card at all times, this should be no different when using any online sources.

Whether you are paying for your groceries online or buying a larger item, always double-check that the site you are using uses the best security available, also double-check that your bank will protect you should you identity be stolen. Some banks will immediately protect you whether you are using your debit or credit card, while others are more inclined to protect you on the credit card only. So bear this in mind and use the appropriate card when buying anything online

McAfee antivirus is a good choice for virus protection. You can rest assured that your computer will be safe at all times and that your identity will be protected without anyone being able to send a virus through to target you.

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Posted by Igor Ovsyannykov

I'm a digital nomad and entrepreneur bouncing around South East Asia. When I'm not working here, I'm out taking photos for Follow me on Instagram: @igorovsyannykov

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