3 Mistakes That Put You at Increased Risk Online

March 5, 2012

Smartphone and social media users are increasingly prime targets for identity theft.

Americans feel too invincible when they’re online and they don’t want to be inconvenienced with extra safety features, Adam Levin, chairman of identity management and data risk management services provider Identity Theft 911, told Forbes.com.

“People, if given a choice, tend to choose convenience over security,” he adds. “If a Web site takes a little longer to load because it’s more secure, people will use a different one because they don’t want to stick around.”

Forbes.com recently highlighted some of the most common mistakes Americans make that put them at more of risk of becoming victims of identity theft. Here are a few mistakes to avoid: 

--Don’t include your entire birthday on your social networking pages. Thieves can use such seemingly harmless information to steal your identity. Don’t include your entire birthday--like the month, day and year--but just the month and day. 

--Not locking your smartphone. Be sure to screen lock your phone so that if you misplace it or have it out of reach for a moment, someone else can’t instantly gain access to all of your information. When you screen lock your phone, you’ll then have to input a few numbers or swipe a pattern whenever you want to use your phone but you’ll have added protection in keeping it secure. 

--Forgetting to change your e-mail password. Your e-mail contains a lot of private information about you. When you change passwords to other programs you use, you often receive a password confirmation of your change to your e-mail, which just opens everything up you do to would-be thieves. Change your e-mail password frequently so that you keep your account secure. 

Source: “6 Simple Online Security Mistakes You’re Probably Already Making,” Forbes (March 1, 2012)

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