Keeping your identity safe on the Web and elsewhere is paramount in today's highly digitized world. If you allow hackers to find out information about you, it could result in a wiped-out bank account or a hacked email address, which will lead to major frustrations. Those who are running a business will have an even greater incentive to protect their identities because businesses thrive on their reputation, and even one successful hack of a website or online database could ruin a company's public standing.
So what are some mistakes that might lead to your identity being hacked? Here are five examples of the worst things you can do:
1. Ignore Your Bank Account and Credit Scores. Keeping your credit scores under close watch has been discussed in . Checking your online bank statement is the fastest way to determine if someone has stolen your bank credentials and begun to make purchases. You should review your bank account regularly, especially after buying something online or from a business that you know was recently hacked, such as Target. Check your credit scores as well, to ensure someone else isn't opening credit lines in your name. Use reputable credit checking companies like TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. You can also visit .
2. Use One Password. Your passwords are often the only thing keeping you from being hacked, so make them complicated, and use different ones for every site you access, . If someone discovers that an easily hacked site contains the password to your Amazon account, they could begin making purchases before you realize it – especially if you ignore your bank account.
3. Don't Bother to Check Website Credentials. Phishing is everywhere, according to California's Attorney General Office. If you don't look to see if a website is the authentic site for Amazon or some other online shopping center, then you could easily fall prey to a phishing scheme that will steal your password. Be careful of emails as well, as these can be used to phish for information.
4. Give Out Your Social Security Number. Your Social Security number is the most important piece of data in your possession. Hackers can set up all kinds of accounts in your name if they have your Social Security number and your address. Don't give them that chance. Keep your Social Security number as secure as possible.
5. Tell Everyone About Where You Are Going on Facebook. Remember that Facebook is readily available to anyone with a computer, and if someone wants to break into your house, they can find out the best time for that by looking at your social updates, . So don't say whether you're on vacation, and don't make your daily schedule of when you're out of the house available online.