We are constantly online. From ordering food to shopping to banking, we do it online. These transactions and interactions require sharing personal info. So how do you keep your personal information safe?
Consumer data protection doesn’t only fall on businesses and organizations. Consumers must also actively protect their personal information online. In fact, even those we thought came from an official bank number can scam us of our money.
Fortunately, there are ways to keep your personal information safe. So stop your browsing or online shopping for a minutes and take a few pointers from our list.
Tips To Keep Your Personal Information Safe Online
Encrypt Your Data
I know what you’re thinking:
“I’m not tech-savvy! How do I encrypt my data?”
Don’t fret. There are modern tools that make it possible to encrypt emails and other information. Here are some you can check out:
- GPG for Mail: If you’re using Apple Mail, then this plug-in is perfect. It offers public email encryption and signing.
- FileVault: This is another program for Apple OS X users. It encrypts the hard drive of your computer.
- BitLocker: It’s something similar to FileVault but for Microsoft Windows users. It’s already encrypted into the operating system so no need to install another encryption software. BitLocker also encrypts data on the drives.
Use Two-Factor Identification with SMS
This isn’t a fool-proof data protection method but it’s better than using a password alone. This could take the form of a one-time password, security tokens, or biometrics.
Tip: Don’t let your browser or websites remember your login or payment information. If possible, wipe out your browser history after every transaction.
Consider Using a Pre-Paid Virtual Card
You’re probably familiar with PayMaya or GCash. With these apps, you’ll only need to share a virtual card number when making a purchase. This is a great option if you don’t want to share personal information from your primary card.
It also keeps your actual credit card number safe from breaches.
This means your primary bank account info will less likely be compromised. It adds an extra layer of protection and security.
Limit What You Share Online
Think before you click. It’s overused advice but it bears repeating.
Stop sharing personal information online. This includes your location, bank information, and passport info.
Here’s a tip: Turn off your location settings on your phone. If this setting is turned on, it’ll automatically post your location every time you post a photo or tweet a status.
This advice may seem obvious to you. But you’ll be surprised by the number of people who get too excited and share too much.
Aside from your photos and status, you must also look into your privacy settings. Who can search you using your mobile number? Who can add you to their friend list?
Lastly, if your kids are using social media channels, make sure to manage their privacy settings as well. You’ll never know who might try to contact them.
Don’t Use or Shop Using Free WIFI
Most free public WIFI networks don’t offer much in terms of keeping your personal information safe online.
For one, someone might be scanning the network and collecting information. Secondly, you’ll never know whether it’s being run by a malicious entity.
So a good rule of thumb is to not trust public Wi-Fi.
Save your transaction for when you’re at home – on a secure network.
If you really need to go online, use a VPN or a virtual private network. This software will encrypt your activity so other networks won’t easily read your activities.
Ask Your Bank about Their Policies In Case Of Fraud
There will always be risks involved when you transact online. The best thing you can do is be prepared in case it does happen.
- Ask your bank if they have policies to protect you in case of fraud.
- What will happen if your account is hacked?
- Will they be able to refund you?
- Who should you call in case something happens to your account?
Keeping your personal information safe online requires mindful efforts. Although no one can completely prevent identity theft or cyber fraud, these tips will add an extra layer of protection.
Investing time and effort in doing these tips will lower your risk. Most importantly, you’ll feel more at ease as you browse and add more products to your online shopping cart.