Protect Yourself on Public Wi-FiInstead of staying away from public Wi-Fi, just stay safe.Following these five simple steps will help protect your private data from prying eyes.
make online purchases or access your bank account.
If you don’t want someone getting ahold of your banking
information or credit card number, it’s best not to access your accounts when connected to public Wi-Fi.
Double-check the network name.
Sometimes thieves will set up fake
Wi-Fi hotspots with legitimate sounding names. You access the fake network and they get access to your data. Double-check
the network name with a server, barista or other employee before logging on.
Turn auto-connect off.
Many smartphones have a setting that will allow these
devices to automatically connect to any open Wi-Fi network. Check your phone’s settings to make sure this feature is
turned off and take control of what networks you access.
Switch up your passwords.
Don’t use the same password for all of your online accounts.
This way if one account is compromised, the rest stay safe.
Look for the lock.
A locked padlock in the
address bar of your web browser means the information submitted to that particular site is encrypted. While this provides
an extra layer of security when connected to public Wi-Fi, it’s not fail-safe. Don’t share information online
that you wouldn’t be comfortable sharing with the person sitting at the table next to you.
Identity Theft ~ Things to Remember
When we're making purchases, whether in person or online,
keep in mind the sensitive information we often give so freely. From credit card numbers and ATM PINs, to home addresses
and more, every checkout can leave your personal information vulnerable.
are a few easy ways to shop smart and help keep your identity safe.
1. Be aware
of your surroundings and protect personal space at the
ATM and registers.
ATMs and points of sale terminals and look for tampering
3. Keep cards in sight when paying to deter dishonest cashiers.
all receipts and closely check your monthly statements to
Be sure your anti-virus software is installed properly and up-to-date.
2. Shop with retailers who you trust and who have a positive Better
Business Bureau rating.
links. Instead, visit shopping sites by directly typing in their
4. Don't purchase items while using
public computers or shared
Besides being smart
shoppers, be careful when handling sensitive information at home. Don't leave out documents like credit card
statements, bank statements, investment account information, or annual social security statements. Don't throw
documents with this information into the garbage. Be sure to shred them instead. If your personal information
is used fraudently, it may take months before you know.
I personally subscribe to a service that monitors use of my personal
information. They search for fraud alerts placed with credit bureaus, monitor cyber services, monitor credit services
and potential credit card misuse. I occasionally receive alerts to potential fraudulent activity or non-credit related
identity threats so I can then validate if I originated the activity. This service isn't a cure-all solution, but it
does give some comfort in knowing someone is policing for possible fraudulent activity that I might miss.
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