Simple ways to protect your identity online

Nov 10, 2023
Safeguarding your digital identity is not an option; it's a necessity in today's interconnected world. Source: Getty Images.

In today’s fast-paced digital age, our lives are intricately woven into the fabric of the internet. Social media keeps us connected, online shopping delivers our desires to our doorsteps, internet banking simplifies our finances, and emails bridge the gaps in communication. In this digital landscape, we willingly share our personal information, making the online world both a treasure trove of convenience and a potential minefield of threats.

With the click of a button, we entrust our data to the vast digital abyss. But amid this convenience lies a critical responsibility – safeguarding our identity online. The internet is not just a realm of opportunity; it’s also a playground for cybercriminals and data breaches. Now, more than ever, it’s paramount to arm ourselves with knowledge and adopt simple yet effective measures to shield our digital identities from harm.

Join Starts at 60 as we explore the importance of protecting your digital identity and provide you with a comprehensive guide to simple yet effective ways to do just that. Whether you’re a seasoned netizen or just dipping your toes into the online waters, these tips will help you maintain your online persona’s integrity and security.

President of Bosco Legal and Investigation Services Joseph Jones, who has over 2000 hours of specialised training in conducting cyber investigations, is all too aware of the dangers that lurk online after having seen “an increase in the number phishing scams affecting the elderly community”.

“More often than not, especially through online advertisement, victims purchase goods from a website that they are not familiar with, and fall victim to providing their credit card information to bad actors,” Jones explains.

“Our recommendation for those looking to avoid being the victim of online shopping scams is to shop from known websites and be weary of too good to be true deals.”

In addition to side-stepping potential scam activity online there are a number of pre-emptive measures one can take to help ensure their personal information remains safe and protected.

Jones suggests that “making all social media accounts private is a great first step to helping keep data safe from prying eyes.”

“Private is never truly private, so be wary of what you post. Don’t share a picture of your credit card, ID, boarding pass, or medical record number,” he says.

“We ask that people be mindful that what they share can be used against them. Don’t share the answers to known password questions like your mother’s maiden name, your street address, the name of your old school, etc. A reminder to only click and make purchases on legitimate and well-known websites.”

Dr Philip Bos is a security expert with over 30 years of experience and the founder of the privacy protection software company BlueKee and believes there is currently “a battle for both the tech-savvy and not-so-savvy to protect one’s identity online”.

In order to be on the winning side of this battle and keep your private information safe, Bos suggests the following:

Safeguarding your digital identity is not an option; it’s a necessity in today’s interconnected world. By following these simple yet effective strategies, you can greatly reduce the risk of becoming a victim of cybercrime. Remember that, in the digital age, you are the guardian of your online realm, and taking the right steps to protect your identity is the best armour you can wear in the battle against cyber threats. Stay informed, stay vigilant, and stay secure in the vast digital wilderness.



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