According to a new survey, most online consumers are not taking the proper precautions when shopping online, putting them at a far higher risk of cyber-fraud. 75% of participants thought that a firewall alone could protect them while online. 62% of those polled thought that anti-virus software was enough protection to stop spy-ware. Are you part of these statistics?
While firewalls and anti-virus software are two important aspects of protecting yourself online, there is much more you need to do to keep yourself safe.
Here are additional statistics from the survey:
- While online, 45% of consumers are most concerned about identity theft, 41% about privacy, and 45% about computer viruses.
- While 28% of consumers thought that their identities were secure on mobile devices, most are more aware that their mobile devices are also vulnerable to malicious cyber-crime.
- 85% of those polled knew that they were being profiled by advertisers through their internet activity. This shows how high our tolerance is for cyber-intrusion into our private lives.
- 85% also said they were aware they were actively being stalked by cyber-criminals. It amazes me that the awareness can be so high and yet people continue to utilize the internet without a great deal of real concern.
Here are a few tips to help you protect your Identity online.
- Have a plan that includes privacy and identity protection (perhaps [intlink id=”2172″ type=”post”]identity monitoring[/intlink]) , computer system ssecurity software, browser protection, and a fraud alert service.
- Hide your IP address. An IP address reveals seemingly harmless information such as your city, state, zip code, and what browser you’re using, which can be exploited by online thieves. Consider installing software that hides your IP address, and therefore your identity and online activities, from criminals, search engines, and advertisers.
- Use Wi-Fi protection. Virus protection and protection against malicious software don’t protect you from cyber-criminals who might be lurking on unsecured connections. Make sure that you don’t reveal any sensitive identity information (passwords, bank account numbers, etc) while on an unsecured Wi-Fi connection.
- Think twice before you type. Posts are permanent, public and exploitable! Sometimes by talking about your cat, Mr. Kitty you are revealing more than just his sleeping patterns, you may be revealing your email password.
John Sileo speaks on information control, identity theft prevention and data breach avoidance. His clients include the Department of Defense, Pfizer and the FDIC. To learn more, contact him directly on 800.258.8076.