Protecting Your Identity On-Line

Whether you are in the process of regaining your credit standing after tough financial times or are merely trying to safeguard your personal information and prevent fraud, here are a few tips to help protect yourself from identity theft on-line:

  1.  Use strong passwords and change them frequently.  Refrain from using your name, child’s name or even your dog’s name!  Instead, use a mix of lowercase letters, uppercase letters and numbers.  In order to remember the passwords, write them down and keep them in a safe place away from your computer.
  2. If a site you are using requires registration, only fill in the required fields.  Also, deny sharing permission.
  3. Never click on suspicious links or on unknown email attachments.  Keep your web browser up to date.
  4. Use credit cards instead of debit cards when making purchases online.  Credit cards offer stronger fraud protection.
  5. Never email your credit card number to anyone.  Also, be sure to check your monthly credit card statements each month for possible fraudulent charges and report them immediately.
  6. Use firewall and antivirus software.
  7. Never click on any links sent to you about any problems with your bank.  Call the bank directly or go to the bank’s website.
  8. When you visit websites, search for the LOCK symbol.  Look in your browser’s status bar and “https” in the address bar for a lock symbol.  Even though it is not guaranteed to be secure with the symbol, there is usually no security if the symbol is missing.
  9. On social networking sites, mark your profiles as ‘private.’
  10.  Teach your children about not sharing any personal information online or through social media sites.

Visit, a site powered by the National Cyber Security Alliance, for more in-depth tips on staying safe in the cyber world.

-Lory M.


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