When you think of spring cleaning, you probably think of throwing
open the windows, shaking out winter and doing a deep clean in all the nooks and crannies of your home. Don’t let your deep clean stop there; make some time to devote to cyber clean as the season changes.
The very best way to protect yourself from identity theft is to be vigilant and to try to keep one step ahead of the fraudster. Identity theft can be emotionally and financially devastating.
Here are some tasks to include in your cyber clean:
Wi Fi at home
What is your Wi Fi network named at home? Does it have any component of your name or address? If someone is targeting you through your Wi Fi, that could be dangerous information to hand over.
Change your passwords
Your password is a key part of your defense against identity theft. It is important to change your passwords often, but also to keep them hard to guess. Surprisingly, some of the most popular passwords are the most obvious (think “123456” and “password”).
As a rule of thumb, have your passwords be a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. Don’t attach them to any of your personal information like birthdays, addresses, etc. You should change your passwords every few months, and make sure that you have a few in circulation at any given time.
If you like to write your passwords down on a piece of paper, make sure to store them away from your debit and credit cards (e.g. not in your wallet).
Do you have virus software? How old is it? You lock your front door when you leave home to protect yourself, right? Employ the same approach to your cyber presence. Make sure that your security software is current enough to provide adequate protection.