10 Tips on How to Avoid Losing your Digital Identity
In an age of ever-more sophisticated malware, it can seem like cybercriminals have all the time and resources in the world to victimize ordinary people. It can feel like an unfair fight, because most of us have pressing obligations like family, work, and day-to-day living that interfere with our ability to keep our guard up every time we go online. But fortunately, there's plenty you can do to defend your digital identity that doesn't involve setting up your own research lab or getting a PhD in computer science.
Michael Sheehan is a blogger and a participant in Trend Micro's Digital Joneses program, which asks a group of bloggers to reflect on a different "challenge" every month. He recently wrote about 10 things you can do to protect your identity. Here's just a handful:
Use two-factor authentication. When you log into your email account from a machine the server doesn't recognize, you can get a notification (for example, a text over your cellphone) that sends you a second passcode that you need to supply before you can access your email. It's a lot safer than just logging in directly to your account.
Don't link all of your accounts. You've seen plenty of sites that ask if you want to just use an existing loginfor example, Twitter or Facebookin order to log into their site. If you do that, then all you need is to have your Twitter or Facebook account hacked and then you could see the repercussions all over the Internet.
Set up difficult security questions. In the age of Facebook, using a security question like, "What was your high school mascot?" is a very risky propositionit's too easy for random strangers to find out that kind of information. So go for harder questions whose answers aren't so easily researched.
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