How to be Safer When Using Public Wifi
It’s amazing how easy it is to find public wifi these days. They’re convenient, especially when you’re on the go, but they could also leave your information vulnerable. Here are some tips to help you stay safer if you use public Wi-Fi.
Avoid accessing confidential information
When connected to public Wi-Fi, don’t log on to banking or similar apps, and don’t use apps or sites that involve personal, sensitive or confidential data. That goes for email too, which can be a difficult one for working people to avoid.
Beware who’s ‘listening’
The danger of public Wi-Fi is that someone on that network may be “listening” to the information and data streaming back and forth from your device. That data could potentially be used to go back and access your accounts or other personal information.
Delete your profile when you’re done
Just because you log on to a public Wi-Fi network doesn’t mean you want to every time you’re near it. Once you’ve finished using a certain public network, make sure you log out and then delete that particular public Wi-Fi network from the list of networks on your phone or device.
If you don’t, your device could log on automatically next time you’re nearby, even when you don’t want it to. That puts you at risk for inadvertently sharing personal or confidential information, as you wouldn’t realize you’re connected.
Social Media Privacy
The number of social media and networking sites is increasing daily, and has become so pertinent to our lifestyle that most of us use at least one. While what you share on social media is your decision, what others choose to do with your information is out of your control.
Social media can leave a trail of personal information that you may not want to share with advertisers, analytics companies or people other than your connections. What you share online can leave you vulnerable and make stealing your identity easy.
Take charge of your personal safety with the following social media safety tips.
Things to avoid ever sharing
Social networking means opening up and sharing information online with others, but to protect yourself from identity theft there are some things you should never share.
- Your social security number (including just the last 4 digits)
- Your birth date
- Home address
- Home phone number
- Protect all of your passwords, PIN numbers, bank account and credit card information
Customize privacy options
Do not simply accept the site’s default privacy settings. Take a look at what they are and explore options that best suit your needs. Social media sites are giving users more control over their privacy settings. Review setting options, configuration, and privacy sections to see what options you have to limit who and what groups can see various aspects of your personal information.
‘Search’ is a new area where users are gaining control of what others are allowed to see. Some sites set limits on who can see search results about you. Make sure to log onto your account and view and adjust your privacy settings. Check periodically, since new settings are often added over time.
Choose your apps wisely
Many social media services offer apps—games, quizzes, etc. Use them wisely! In many cases, you agree to share personal information in exchange for access. For example, does it require access to your social media history and account information? Does it share your information with others?
Limit work history details
Putting your full resume online is risky. Identity thieves can use the information to fill out loan applications, guess a password security question or attempt to gain access into your company’s network. If you feel you need the added information to help you find a job, expand the details only during the job search. After you’ve secured a job, remove the detailed information. Leave highlights of your resume online to entice recruiters for future positions.
Avoid accidentally sharing personal details
Try not to give too many details on what you are doing and where you are going. There are many features in social media sites that tell users where you are and what you are doing on any specific date and time. Be aware of what information you put out there which others could use to piece together your habits and personal information, such as favorite places you visit. The more personal information an identity thief compiles about you, the easier it is to make you a victim. This is also especially relevant for teenagers or kids who have accounts (whether they have parental permission or not). No one wants to find themselves in a dangerous situation, and oversharing information can accidentally put someone in an undesirable position.
Search your name and see what comes up. Check out your profile and see what others are seeing. Be aware of what shows up, what information is available to readers and then adjust your profile and settings to make sure you are only sharing what you want to. Should you find your name unexpectedly in locations you don’t frequent, it could indicate that someone else is using your identity online.
Understand how sites could use your information
Did you Know?
No person associated with this news letter receives any form of compensation for any products mentioned, nor should any mention of a particular product be considered an endorsement of that product. This newsletter is for informational purposes only and should not be considered authoritative on any topic. Please seek advice from an appropriate professional on any specific issue.