Protect Personal Information

Make passwords long, strong and unique. You have should have a different password for each online account, using a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.

Write it down and keep it safe: Everyone can forget a password. Keep a list that’s stored in a safe, secure place away from your computer.

Think before you act. Most organizations – banks, charities, universities, companies, etc., – will not ask for personal information via email. Be wary of requests to update or “confirm” your information.

Post with caution. Information you post online, especially on social networking sites, can be collected in an attempt to steal your identity. Keep information such as birthdates and addresses confidential unless you are on a secure and reputable website.

Own your online presence. Understand how privacy settings work on social networks and websites you frequent. Set them to your comfort level of sharing.

Protect your money. When banking or shopping online, enter information only into security-enabled sites that begin with https://. The “s” means the data is encrypted in transit. Never enter bank or credit card information into a website that begins http://

Secure your accounts: Ask for protection beyond passwords. Many account providers now offer additional ways for you verify who you are before you conduct business on that site.

(Tips curated from STOP. THINK. CONNECT., the national online safety awareness campaign.)