In this digital era, we keep almost all the personal information online whether it is our a Facebook account or bank account credentials.
These details may easily allow identity thieves to impersonate us and use our credit cards or other resources for their benefits.
Let us try to secure our computer by taking care of a few things and save ourselves from getting victimized by identity thieves.
Tips To Protect Your Computer From Identity Theft
1. Always Keep Your Firewall Activated
Your computer’s firewall acts as a shield and every incoming and outgoing traffic is controlled by it. Enabling it is the first step towards securing computer. Windows comes with an in-built Firewall. Please make sure to turn on the Firewall, in case, it is not turned on yet. Follow these steps to enable the firewall –
- Open Control Panel (Press Window key and R together to open Run Window and type Control Panel in Run Window)
- Navigate to Action Center.
- Under Security, look for Network Firewall and check if it is turned on. Turn it on, if not.
2. Keep Strong Passwords And Do Change Them Often
Keeping strong passwords for your online accounts, whether it is an e-mail account or social media account or banking account, it helps you to stay secure. Using a set of unique password is quite an easy task. Choose a password of at least nine characters and don’t forget to include non-alphabetic characters (!, #, %, &, $) to make it hard for intruders to guess. It is recommended to change your passwords in every 30 days.
3. Install Anti-Malware Software
Malware is a software which is specifically designed to disrupt, damage, or gain authorized access to a computer system. So, to protect your system from malware, it is recommended to install Anti- malware software. You can download Advanced System Protector to keep your system safe. The software will prevent, detect and remove the threats.
4. Restrict The User Accounts Permissions
Everybody wants to be their own boss, so when it comes to your own computer, you would surely want to use the computer as an administrator, but that’s where you are mistaken, you should not use the admin account unless you need to perform any specific task like installing windows or making changes in registry files. As using the admin account can give the identity thieves a upper hand and they can easily take access and make changes to your system at the time of attack.
One more thing, you need to take care of when it comes to User accounts – Never create a Guest account without password. It might let others use the Guest account for their benefit.
5. Always Encrypt Your Data
If you have confidential data on your hard disk, it is always better to encrypt the data to keep it safe. It provides an extra layer of protection to your sensitive data. The data when encrypted can only be decrypted when the user puts in the password. So, in this way, you can make it hard for the cyber thieves to steal your information and protect your computer against identity theft.
6. Secure Your Network
The weak network can be a doorway for hackers to access your valuable data. So, to secure your network, the default login credentials of your router and network should be changed and while setting a password, try to use combination of alphabetic and non-alphabetic characters to make it unique and harder to access.
7. Tighten Browser Security Settings
Securing your browser is necessary as web browser has been an easy target for hackers to initiate the attack.
So to secure your browsers, you need to configure the settings of your browser right.
In Internet Explorer
- Choose Tool (Gear icon) -> Internet Options.
- A Dialog box should appear, choose the Security tab.
- Here you can choose a security level (Medium, Medium-High, High, or Custom).
- Choose Settings ->Show Advanced Settings then Privacy
- Adjust the security settings
- Choose Tools -> Options.
- You will see tabs like Content, Privacy, and Security and adjust security settings.
8. Keep Your OS And Applications Up To Date
Windows releases system updates now and then to upgrade the level of security and to induce new features onto the existing version. Never ignore it and always download and install updates when prompted. Similarly, applications installed on the system needs to be updated time to time as it is better for the application as well as for system performance.
9. Wipe & Overwrite Storage Devices Before Discarding
There are times, when you have to discard the existing hard drives, Pen Drives, Memory cards, for some reason or the other, always remember to wipe it clean and overwrite before passing it on as it might have contained your sensitive data in past or simply destroy it. As formatting the disk would not work as the data stored can be retrieved back.
These are the few things of many which could help to protect your computer from identity Theft and keeping your data safe from hackers.