May 192016

Surfing the Internet Safely

Are You Surfing the Internet Safely?

For millions and millions of individuals and business owners surfing the Internet, they will do so for years unscathed.

Others, unfortunately, will not be so lucky when it comes to avoiding identity theft.

The question then becomes, will you be one of those people who do not fall victim to identity theft?

Guard Your Financial Information Closely

So that you can avoid becoming an identity theft thief’s next victim, take the time now to review your online activities, seeing if you are leaving any doors open to fate.

For starters, what are your typical online practices when it comes to your finances?

If you avoid discussing personal details such as bank account information, retirement fund details, credit card updates and the like, you are relatively safe.

On the other side of the financial coin, if you regularly share such personal details, you are setting yourself up for a potential nightmare.

One means to decrease the odds you will be the next identity theft victim is by making sure you have as reliable an online protection program in place.

Whether you opt for LifeLock identity theft protection or one of the other providers out there, knowing which program is best suited to protect you is worth your time and investment.

The first matter to deal with in finding the right provider is doing your research on them, both through online searches and talking to those you know (family, friends and co-workers) as to which service they use and recommend.

Once you have feedback from them, research each provider’s history.

Look at how long they have been in business, what if any issues they have had with customers over time, and what level of customer service they provide.

Get Social in Choosing the Right Provider

As for this last detail, you can turn to social media and check out the provider’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other such pages.

See what kind of one-on-one attention they give those who write them.

Do they answer questions and/or solve issues in a professional and timely manner? Do they totally ignore consumers who come to them with concerns or questions? Finally, what type (approximate number of followers) of audience do they have? Those with large numbers tend (though not always) to be trusted more by consumers.

From there, you should look to see what level of online protection is best suited for your needs.

If you are on the Internet frequently, a higher level of protection would make sense. For those individuals sparingly online, while you may want the top level of protection available, you’re probably just as well off with a lower package of benefits.

As mentioned earlier, even the best identity theft protection providers in the world can’t fully help you if you’re careless with how you handle your personal and financial information.

Remember, it doesn’t have to be an online error that ends up putting you in direct contact with identity theft thieves.

How many times have you been out in public settings, only to leave a credit card or receipt sitting around? In a moment’s notice, a thief can copy pertinent information off of the card or receipt, setting the stages for identity theft.

If you are out to a restaurant, a store, even a coffee shop or library, don’t be careless with your credit cards, banking information etc.

Another item to keep in mind is shredding all your financial documents once you no longer have use for them.

It is very easy for some consumers to simply take their receipts at the end of the month, throw them in a trash bag, and then set it outside for trash collection.

In the process, an identity theft thief can easily gather that information, and then plot to steal your financial identity in a short amount of time.

Think again, is it not worth it to take all needed precautions to protect against such crimes?

Whether surfing the Internet without protection or being careless in public with your accounts and receipts, it is important to keep in mind that identity theft criminals can be very patient in waiting for consumers to make that single mistake.

Is that a mistake you want to be a part of?

All this said, what security measures do you take in surfing the internet safely?  Purchasing over the internet?  Have you ever been a victim of identity theft via the internet?  Share you story.

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