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Five ways to protect your identity online

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The recent troubles with the census meant many people wondered if their personal information had been compromised and, if so, what it could mean for the future.

In our technologically advanced society it has become more vital than ever to know how to protect your online identity. Your identity belongs to you and you should control it.

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner has a few tips to help you protect yourself:

protect privacy online

Read privacy policies

Apps should provide you with a privacy policy outlining what information about you is collected and how it is used and distributed. It may not be an exciting read but it means you're informed and you have an opportunity to opt out if you don't like what you see.

If there is no privacy policy, or it's too onerous to read, interpret that as a red flag.

Tailor privacy settings

Take the time to tailor your privacy settings so that your snaps, stories, posts and personal information are viewed only by people you trust. You can also turn off location services and limit the apps with which you share your location to make your movements less trackable.

Develop a strong password

Using the same password, or simple passwords, can mean you're an easier target for identity thieves.

Combine letters, numbers and symbols in your passwords or, if possible, use a phase that's memorable. "Tr0ub4dor" looks tough to crack but "It's $3.50 for a latte" is even tougher and so much easier to remember.

Be wary of online payments

Don't submit credit card details to websites if you're unsure about the security. Use reputable sites and check the webpage URL - a secure connection will begin with https://.

If entering the "https" at the beginning of the URL results in an error, you might want to take your business elsewhere.

Only share information you're happy to circulate

Refrain from publishing anything publicly online you don't want widely shared.

Not every post is intended to go viral.

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Steph Nash was a staff writer at Money until 2017.
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