6 Smart Ways to Protect Your Identity Online  

As transacting online—whether it’s shopping or paying one’s utility bills—are becoming more and more popular among Singaporeans, online identity theft is also becoming a rapidly-growing problem in the country. Anytime you use the Internet, you are vulnerable to cyber attacks. Hackers can steal your personal information, including your tax records, passwords and credit card numbers. Follow these tips to protect yourself against these criminals:

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1. Be Careful With What You Share. When someone requests for your password or any security access as an identifier, asks if you can provide an alternative information instead. Watch out for website or email imitations of banks, charities, card companies, and government agencies. Use only legit sources of contact information to verify information requests.

2. Keep Your Anti-Virus Software Up-to-Date. Install an anti-virus and make sure to keep it updated so that it can protect you against malware and other programs that may extract information from your computer. Use the latest version of your preferred web browser and install security patches and updates as soon as they’re available.

3. Watch Out for Fake Contests and Online Sweepstakes. If an offer requires you to pay a certain amount or provide private info before releasing a prize, it is no doubt a bogus. If you can just ignore the offer, do so. If you really must find out, ask for the sender’s contact information and the company running the contest.

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4. Use a Difficult Passwords. Make it difficult for hackers to guess your password. Create a smart combination by incorporating numbers, small and capital letters, and special characters.

5. Beware of Work-at-Home Invitations. Conduct thorough research about the company and make as many calls as possible to verify the credibility of the business. All offers to earn money from re-shipping packages sent to your home address are bogus. Some work-at-home scams do not only qualify an individual to defraud others, they also victimize the owner of the information.

6. Pay Attention to Children’s Online Activities. Keep your children’s units in a community network, so you can monitor their online activities. Use child-appropriate software and parental control functions to limit the time they spend online. This prevents your kids from accessing malicious and illicit websites and sharing personal information.

The Internet is a big world, and there are people who can use it to take advantage of you if you’re not careful. You can lose important data, your fortune, or even your identity if you don’t filter your activities online. Keep in mind these smart tips for a problem-free Internet browsing.

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