Protecting your identity online and off is important. Here’s how.

Using a computer, smartphone, tablet or other electronic device can put you at risk for identity theft. It’s important to know how to protect yourself and your personal information when you’re online.

Social Media Savvy

Social media can make you a target for identity theft and other crime. You can take steps to guard your safety by:

  • Being discreet about what you post. Don’t share private details like travel plans.
  • Not sharing confidential information like your address or social security number.
  • Only accepting friend requests from people you know.
  • Providing the minimum amount of personal information necessary to register for the site.
  • Selecting the highest privacy setting available.
  • Using a nickname whenever possible rather than your full name.

Device Dangers

You can protect your devices by setting up strong passwords. Phones and tablets often store financial records, credit and debit cards and social security numbers. If your device is lost or stolen, a good password can safeguard this information.

Limiting Links

We recommend that you avoid clicking links unless they’re from sources you know and trust. This includes e-mail links and sites mentioned on social media. Malware from untrustworthy links can infect your devices and access your private information, including bank account numbers, passwords and PINs.

Location, Location, Location

It’s a good idea to turn off the GPS locator on your phone. If GPS is enabled, photos and videos may be geotagged. This means that when you upload those files to social media, people can see where you are. This is a way strangers can learn your address. Even if you think you know and trust everyone in your network, it’s best to be cautious.