Game Testers Earnings Paid Out: $

How to protect your private information

There are four ways how you can prevent information theft: you should know people who you’re going to share information with, store it in a secure place, ask questions before sharing information, and maintain security on all the devices that you have.

How to protect your personal information offline

If you have any financial documents, lock them in some secure place at your home. If you have a wallet or a purse at work, find a safe place there. Make sure that you no one else has access to your personal information.

Don’t carry everything you have with you. When you’re out, you should have only your ID, and debit and credit cards, if you need money. Your Social Security card should be left at home. You may make a copy of your Medicare card. The last four digits of it should be blacked out. Unless you’re going to the doctor, it’s quite enough to carry a copy.

If you’re asked to give your personal information at your work, your kids’ school or a doctor’s office, ask what they need this information for, how you can make sure that it’s secure and what the consequences of not sharing are.

Get rid of all the documents that you no longer need. This list includes expired credit cards, receipts, insurances and all the other documents.

Don’t leave the labels on prescription bottles. No one who offers free services and medicine should know anything about your state of health.

If you want to send a mail, put it into a mail collection box, or better bring it to the post office. Try to remove the incoming mail as soon as you can. If you know that you won’t come home for a few days, ask for a vacation hold on your mail.

If you need to order new checks, go to the post office to get them, unless you have a secure mailbox with a lock.

Think about prescreened offers of credit and insurance. You can choose between 5-year or permanent options. Prescreened offers have really many advantages.

How to protect your personal information online

Share your personal information only with people whom you can trust. You should store and dispose of all the data securely.

Beware of impersonators

If you share your personal or financial information, make sure that you know the people that are going to get it. Never give it on the telephone, by e-mail or in any social network. This can be done only if you initiated the contact or you’re 100% sure whom you deal with. If some unknown company sends you an e-mail to ask for your personal information, don’t follow the links that may be in the letter. If you want to get in touch with the company, try to find their website and contact their customer service. Ask for confirmation of the request sent by e-mail.

Use your information securely

Before disposing of your old computer, delete all the personal information that it stores. You can use any wipe utility software to overwrite the hard drive.

Before disposing of your mobile phone, look up into the manual or the provider’s site to learn how to save and transfer information to your new smartphone, As soon as this is done, you should delete it permanently from your old gadget. Remove also both the memory and the subscriber identity module card. Delete the history of calls and the contact list. Get rid of all the text and voice messages, organizer folders, browsing history and your pics from the gallery.

Encrypt your information

Make sure that your browser is safe. If you make some online transactions, you should use encryption software that conceals your data. You will see a ‘lock’ icon on your status bar. It means that all the data will be secure when you transmit it. So, before making any transactions or sending your information, make sure that you see this lock.

Keep your passwords private

Use difficult passwords on all your accounts, including credit and bank accounts. Make them intricate. You may think of some phrase and use the initial letter of each word as a password. You can also take numbers instead of letters to make your password really strong.

Don’t tell too much on social networks

If you tell too much about your life, it will be quite easy for thieves to find more information about you. They can later use it to hack your account answering challenge questions and get access to your finance. Limit the access to your pages to a small group of your close friends. Don’t post your full name, your Social Security number, address, telephone number or any other important numbers on the websites with an open access.

Protect your social security number

If you intend to share your Social Security number, ask questions to people who are going to get it. If it’s possible, use another kind of identification. If you’re still asked to provide your or your kid’s Social Security number, ask what they need it for, how they’re going to use it, how you can make sure that it’s secure, and what the consequences of not sharing are.

It’s only your decision whether you want to share this information. Some services and benefits may be denied if you don’t provide your SSN. If it concerns your employer or some financial organization, they need this for wage and tax purposes. If you apply for a loan or want to rent a flat, your Social Security number may be required to check your credit.

Ensure the security of your electronic devices

Install the necessary software

Make sure that you have good anti-virus software, anti-spy software, and a firewall. Allow these programs to update automatically. You must protect your electronic devices against viruses that can infect your computer files or passwords. Install security patches for your OS.

Beware of phishing emails

Never open unknown files, follow links, or download software sent by people you don’t know. Your curiosity may result in infecting your computer with a virus that captures your passwords or any other private information that you have.

Use Wi-Fi carefully

If you want to share your personal data over your electronic device on a public wireless network in a library, café, hotel, airport or any other place, make sure that it’s secure. If you use an encrypted site, only the information that you send to it is safe. If you use a secure wireless network, all the data are protected.

Lock up the laptop

Try not to keep financial information on your laptop. But if it’s unavoidable, don’t log in automatically. Log off every time you finish your work. If someone steals your laptop, he won’t get access to your personal information.

Read privacy policy

It may seem tedious, but it’s really important information to have. You will know how the site maintains accuracy and security of the data it collects.