People increasingly rely on the Internet for many areas of their lives. Whether it is to shop for new furniture or clothes, manage finances, socialize or even work, the online environment has an essential role.

Convenient connections have done a lot to improve time and productivity. At the same time, connecting to online devices has also put much of your personal data within the reach of malicious attacks.

Locking down personal data on your health, finances and so much more is imperative. Data thieves scour a variety of online spaces to gain access to your personal data and assets. Here are things to help you manage your cyber security risk.

When is Your Identity At-Risk?

You are at-risk from shopping or banking online, or if you store your personal information on a computer. Alerts that may indicate your data was compromised might include one of the following scenarios:

Unexpected or unauthorized bank account withdrawals
You stop receiving bills or other mail
You receive bills for medical services that you did not use
Your health insurance rejects a legitimate claim

It is wise to regularly check your credit report for new accounts opened in your name, but you did not open them. Additionally, look for unfamiliar negative items and accounts listed. It is a strong possibility that someone else has used maliciously attacked your personal data.

How to Keep Your Personal Data Safe Online

Despite exposure resting at your fingertips every time you share something online, there are some basic steps you can take to secure your data. Begin with being careful about trusting people you do not know online. Criminals will pose as imposters to gain your trust and personal details.

Make sure you set your privacy settings on your electronic devices, computer, and internet browsers to the strictest levels. An added layer is to make passwords complex while keeping them away from public viewing.

Social media is a place for sharing, but keep personal information should to a minimum. Such information certainly includes your social security number. If a vendor requests it, ask why it is needed and how will they protect it.

Another way to keep personal data safe is being cautious about what you choose to download. Opening emails or attachments from unknown senders can expose your laptop, smartphone or iPad to a virus.

Secure all devices from which you access the Internet by:

Using antivirus or anti-malware software
Updating software
Protecting passwords for the devices
Backing up files on an external hard drive or an encrypted flash drive

Consider Identity Theft Insurance

In addition to knowing your risks and ways to protect your data online, identity theft insurance is something that might be useful. Some homeowners’ insurance policies offer identify theft protection. These may include credit repair and monitoring services if there is a breach.

Having your identity stolen is a very frustrating experience. Doing everything possible to avoid it up front helps to evade the challenge of restoring your credit and finances after the fact. Call Herndon Carr & Co. to talk with a specialist at  who will help you save time money and the embarrassment of a data security break.

Herndon Carr
10501 Six Mile Cypress Pky #101
Fort Myers, FL 33966