Internet Security - Safer Internet Day - 5-February-2019
Respect | Responsibility | Reasoning | Resilience | The 4Rs of online safety
A hot topic lately? You might think your online posts are private – seen only by your friends and family – but did you know there are automated tools that scan the web for keywords, topics and phrases? These tools can then store, report and repeat your posted information, effectively rendering it out of your control for eternity… even if you deleted it within seconds. Such regrettably posted information could come back to haunt you.
Tip #1: Before posting any type of information online, pause and think “Would it be okay for anyone in the world to see or hear what I am about to put online?” When in doubt, don’t post it.
Tip #2: Take responsibility for protecting yourself from identity theft by minimizing the amount of personal information you share with others. Also, keep up with the most current ways to protect yourself, your organization, family and friends.
What can be done?
- Beware of the word “Prevent”: No person and No Product can prevent identity theft. As long as criminals can benefit from stealing, there will be theft.
- There are No Guarantees: This mantra holds true for a lot of things in life and dealing with identity theft is no exception.
- Watch for “Should Surfers” and “Skimmers”: Shield the entry of personal identification numbers (PINs) and be aware of people standing entirely close by when using the credit or debit card in public.
- Keep your PAN Card, Passport safe at home: There are very few reasons to carry around the crown jewel of sensitive personal information. At lunch a few days ago, the woman beside me opened her wallet for a credit card and there was her PAN card, too. Remember, ID theft and fraud are not exclusively credit-related – thieves can use a PAN card number to construct a whole new life.
- Destroy before you dump that old computer: Erasing data just enables the computer to write over the space again; it doesn’t actually eliminate the original bits and bytes. You can consider using a software tool to do a complete wipe of your drive.
- Choose “Forget Me” instead of “Remember Me”: How many websites invite you to enable an automatic log on the next time you visit? Don’t check that box! When convenience trumps confidentiality, you are asking for trouble. The harder you make it for hackers to follow your trail into an online store or bank account, the better. This is absolutely necessary when using public computers. In fact, you should avoid accessing any secure sites from a public computer or when using a public wireless network or Wi-Fi hotspot.
- What’s in your wallet? Make photocopies of the personal material in your wallet: Driver’s license, credit/debit cards, etc. Should your wallet be lost or stolen, you won’t be left wondering what was actually taken, and you will be able to quickly notify the appropriate agencies about what has taken place.