Data Security and You

Like a lot of people, I do a staggering number of financial transactions on-line these days. I have to remain vigilant so that I can trust my data to go scurrying across the web and not get stolen by bad guys who would love to steal my identity (and more importantly, my money).

To do this I have a few tips that you may have heard a thousand times before, but are still worthwhile.

First, whenever you are entering important data on a form, make sure your browser is in https mode. The first place to look for this is in the address bar at the top of your browser. On this site, it says http://, but on a site where you are entering important data, it should say https:// . Most browsers will also indicate you are in a secure mode with a lock icon near the bottom of the screen or at the end of the address bar. This is an easy thing to get in the habit of doing, and it can prevent a lot of problems.

Second, when you are going to a website where you’ll be entering sensitive data, make sure you’ve typed in the name correctly, or even better use a reliable search engine like Google to enter the website. Many sites pray on the misspellings and typos that can lead you to look like the site you intended to go to, but are really for scammers. Also, just double-check that after you’ve clicked any link that you are at the site you intended to go.

Third, to go along with the last tip, never go to someplace you’ll be entering sensitive data by following a link in an e-mail. Many scammers create very realistic looking e-mails that actually appear to link you to the site you want to go to, but then re-route you to their professional looking con site. Remember, carefully type in the address, or use a search engine like Google. Don’t use your e-mail.

Finally, use strong passwords. The more important your data is, the more important it is to protect with a password that, at least, has both CAPITAL and lower-case letters and numbers. You should also not use words that are in the dictionary ApPle1 is a weaker password, than pPle1A, which is the same thing just moved over a letter. Using tricks like, you can make your password, and therefore your data a lot more secure. You can find a lot of other good password recommendations here.

I was also planning on having a couple of recommendation for keeping your data secure from the government, but that will have to come later.

Until then, stay safe.

I’ll also have a couple of recommendation for keeping your data secure from the government, but that comes in a bit.

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