Nearly 60 million Americans have been affected by identity theft, according to a 2018 online survey by the Harris Poll. For example, 2 million identities were stolen and used to make fake comments during the FCC inquiry into net neutrality in 2017.
“It’s not surprising that many people may view the internet as more dangerous than earthquakes, terrorism and wars. People may feel they have little control over how to deal with bad actors who exploit online technologies. These concerns are a red flag for governments and companies to put even more effort into make online experience more secure,” says Daniel Markuson, a digital privacy expert at NordVPN. According to him, one of the best ways to empower people is to educate them on how they can mitigate cyber risks themselves.
Even though people do not have direct control over which company or institution will be the next target for a cyber attack, we always can take precautionary steps to protect our data:
1. Use strong and unique passwords. Create complex passwords that identity thieves cannot guess. If a website where you have an account has a breach of its databases, first change your password. Then take the steps advised by the company that compromised your data.
2. Think twice before posting anything on social media. This information can be used against you. Sharing your location can reveal sensitive details like your home address, work address, and the places you visit. Use of photo- and video-sharing sites like Flickr and YouTube provides deeper insights into you, your family and friends, your house, favorite hobbies, and interests. All of this information could be valuable to identity thieves.
3. Provide companies only with necessary information. The less data they have, the less they can leak. Make sure not to provide your birthdate, social security number, or bank account number just because someone asks for it.
5. Look out for fraud. Don’t forget that companies with big data sets are not the only desirable targets for cybercriminals. Your sensitive personal data is also attractive. That is why it is important to constantly educate yourself on how to protect yourself from email phishing and other online threats.
6. Use security tools. Anti-virus or anti-malware software can protect your computer from random attacks and alert you to any intrusions. Additionally, a VPN, such as NordVPN, encrypts your internet traffic and protects your online identity. These steps will help you to enjoy the highest level of safety while browsing.
NordVPN is the world’s most advanced VPN service provider that is more security oriented than most VPN services. It offers double VPN encryption, ad blocking & Onion Over VPN. The product is very easy to use, offers one of the best prices on the market, has over 5,000 servers worldwide and is P2P friendly. Find out more on nordvpn.com.