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Protect Your Online Identity

Most people are very careful with personal documents such as a credit card, birth certificate or driver’s license. You keep them in a safe place and wouldn’t give them to someone you didn’t know or trust.You should do the same thing with your personal information online to prevent others from using this information to impersonate you, or hack your accounts.

Below are some key points to consider on the digital sphere, and hopefully these would reduce/eliminate that threat.

  • Passwords:

Make sure your password(s) is updated regularly and is a combination of numbers, symbols, upper & lower case letters. Passwords should NEVER be shared through emails, sms, IM or written on a piece of paper or given to someone unless you know them personally and trust them.


  • Registrations:

Online forms (registration) is part of our everyday “digital” life; so don’t give out your email unless you have to. Read the privacy policy of the website and decide if you trust them or not. If you don’t then, consider using an alias email account, and only use your primary email with friends and business you know and trust. Stop and think before you share any personal or financial information-about you, your friends or family. Don’t disclose identity information (drivers licence, birth date, address, credit card info, passwords) through email or online unless you have started the contact and you know the other person involved.


  • Teaching Your Kids:

We all teach our children not to talk to strangers, and in the digital world its more important than ever. Kids need to be constantly reminded that they should not talk to anyone they don’t know online. Even if they do, they should not give out any family or personal information to that person, since it could be an impersonator. Use parental controls whenever possible, and always keep an eye on your children’s online activity through (history) saved on web browsers.

kids safety

  • Social Media:

When using social networking sites, adjust your privacy settings to control the amount and type of information you want to share, so that people you don’t know very well can only see certain parts of your profile. If you leave it open and announce that you are enjoying a family vacation in the Swiss Alps, this is the perfect opportunity for burglars to attempt stealing your belongings. Don’t assume that someone is trustworthy just because they appear to know one of your friends.

Hand holding a Social Media 3d Sphere

  • Know what you are revealing:

You should always check who sees what, since privacy settings at social media sites are not always enabled by default. Facebook’s searchable postings and profiles, makes it easy for criminals to track you down; they don’t even have to be on Facebook. This is not something that should scare you, but rather makes you more careful with your privacy settings.

Allowing friends/family members to see your photos, status updates and email is OK, but it is safer to disable the search part. Also, if you allow friends of friends and ‘Anyone in my networks’ to see every online breath you take, you profile is now opened to hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) of people.

Privacy? logo

  • Internet Dating:

Internet dating is so popular, since you can conceal your true age, occupation, weight, gender and intentions. If you want to use the web to meet people, then do so safely. Be very careful with the information you give out, and also don’t take information by potential dates at face value. This is treacherous and idiotic. People take risks online with their identity that they’d never dream of taking in the real world.


  • E-commerce:

Obviously, do not engage in any financial transactions online without knowing and trusting the site first. When you do, always look for the lock symbol in your browser’s Status Bar and “https” in the Address Bar; these show that you’ve got a secure connection. The lock in itself is not a guarantee of security, but its absence is a guarantee of NO security.

  • Spam:

One of the easiest ways to get hacked, is when you get an email asking you to click on its links. NEVER EVER click a link from an email address that you do not know / trust. This is even more dangerous when the email states that you have a problem with your bank account. Again, never click the links, go to the bank’s website and seek answers to the problem, or call the customer service number.

  • Protect Your Systems:

Always secure your laptop/desktop with a password and make sure it is activated when you are not near. The same is applicable with our smart phones, use pass codes or passwords to lock your phone.


Think of your personal information as your money, you don’t leave it lying around for other to take.



Digital Matters

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