As I deleted the 50th email today in a language that looks like a combination of Russian and Greek, I decided that this week would be a good time to remind everyone to protect your identity online.
Almost 10% of identity theft occurs online, and the victims number in the millions each year. And, of course, we’ve all heard the horror stories of people meeting rapists and murderers online. So it pays to be careful.
Some basic guidelines:
- If you plan to meet an “online friend” in person for the first time, make sure it’s a public place.
- Don’t use the same user name and password combination for all your accounts.
- Make your User ID and password hard for a stranger to decode (numbers, letters, and mixed case).
- Monitor whom your children are meeting online.
- Don’t open emails sent by strangers.
- Be extremely cautious about giving out personal information online.
- Beware of phishing, those emails that look legitimate, but aren’t.
We all love the internet, but we have to remember that cyberspace is not all warm and fuzzy. There are some real crooks out there, and the internet provides perfect cover for them.