Digital Planning

Simple and Effective Tips to Securing Your Online Accounts

With social media platforms remaining as popular as ever, cyber criminals have the ability to get a wealth of personal information online.

Even people who believe they are being careful with their privacy settings could be exposed to a cyber attack -- especially if they allow third-party applications to access their profiles. Once a user's data, such as location, date of birth and family connections has been logged, this can be used to hack into their other accounts, such as banking and online storage. Here are our top 10 tips for preventing ID theft on the internet:

  1. Exclude important private information from your social networking profiles

Details such as your telephone number, address, children's age or college can all present ways for hackers to glean more information. On Facebook, that means deleting any 'friends' you do not know, minimising the details on your 'About Me' section and being selective about hitting the 'like' button on posts, all which will make you harder to find - especially when Facebook's new graph search tool is rolled out from in the United Kingdom.

  1. Check your social networking privacy settings

Change your Facebook settings to 'Friends Only' for all articles to get a more secure profile. Facebook frequently makes changes to those settings and, as it does so, can also reset your security and privacy settings.  

  1. Shield and fortify your online passwords

A lot of people use passwords we will not readily forget, such as 1234, our birth dates, or our home cities. However, the rule is, if they are easy to remember, they are easy to crack.

  1. Have several different passwords

Use more than one password for your internet accounts. If you use just one password, cyber criminals will have the ability to obtain access to all your personal data simultaneously. 

  1. Examine your phone's privacy settings

Ensuring your GPS settings to are set to "away" can keep your family's whereabouts more private.

  1. Watch out for ‘phishing’ emails

Spam email is becoming more and more sophisticated. Never respond to some emails with account information or passwords. Banks will never ever request your information this way. If unsure, call the bank directly to assess or, better still, delete the email.  

  1. Keep your communications networks protected

Password protect your wi-fi so hackers from the local area cannot use your connection to perform malicious activity.  

  1. Check for the https://

Before entering payment details into any website, check the internet address has an 's', for 'secure', after the http. If it does not, do not use it. 

  1. Keep a close eye on your bank statements

Really savvy people cross check their receipts with the payment history in their own statements, but this is not absolutely necessary - just keep an eagle eye out for any unfamiliar transactions to recipients you have never heard of. 

  1. Monitor post you get through your door, along with online

Be attentive to anything suspicious in the mail, such as pre-approved credit cards you have not applied for and other financial mail.