Advice

10 Ways to Protect Your Identity

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By Brandon Hardin, Vincent Martini, Colton Ring and Christian Stidham

Technology advances every day, which means there are people out there coming up with new ways to try to get your information. Makes sense right? You’re a pretty interesting person, why wouldn’t someone want to be you? Well, yes and no. Yes you might be an interesting person, you might even be captain of the club sport you’re involved in here at UCBA. However, if i’m going to steal your identity I don’t want to do all your homework, go to class with you, and learn your eating habits. I simply just want your name and information so i can go out and get a new car. That’s all. Sounds fair right?

This article aims to help students/faculty and the UCBA population in general, to help protect against people who want to steal your information and use it for their own financial gain. So here are 10 easy ways, to help protect yourself from those who wish to bring you down.   

Enable Automatic Updates

Enabling automatic updates allows your system to upgrade the OS by itself. When you do this, you allow updates or “patches” to be done by themselves which leaves less room for human error. People tend to not update their system because they are currently using it. Enabling automatic updates allows your system to update itself when the user is not currently using it. Helping you stay better protected.

                Only keep software you need

Any software on your device that you do not currently use should be deleted. This minimizes the risk of having a bug get leaked into your device and stealing your identity. Deleting it also frees up space on your device for more storage for things you actually need.

                                Anti-Virus

Anti-Virus is a key aspect in helping protect your device against the most common threats out there today. Also keeping your Anti-Virus (AV) up to date ensure you have the latest version of protection. The University of Cincinnati actually provides free McAfee Endpoint protection AV to students and faculty at UC. Just visit uc.edu/infosec and select the “Free AntiVirus” button on the left to get yourself some free AV, which saves you money.  

            Frequently Change Passcodes

Passcode security is a major key to keeping your profiles and personal information safe. You should never have reoccuring passcodes, or multiple repeated passcodes. If an account were to be hacked into, and if you have repeated passcodes, this could lead to multiple account breaches. Often, hackers will make multiple taps into your accounts, and do subtle things each time, therefore making it less noticeable to you. This is why frequent password changes are advised.

                Stay Clear of the Sketchy Adult Sites

Lots of Adult sites often are contaminated with computer bugs. These sites are filled with viruses that can infect your computer. They are compiled with ads (called Adware)  that are fraud and have intentions on scamming people from those sites. Majority of the time people don’t even know that they have clicked on something malicious until it’s too late. Even an accidental click on a pop-up could fill your computer with viruses and malware, and boom. There goes your information on the dark web.  

Two-Step Identification

Two-Step identification is the same as Multi-Factor Authentication. It works like this, you need to have two out of the three things in order to gain access to a device. The three things consist of: Something you know, Something you are, Something you have. Something everyone who has an iPhone knows there’s a passcode as well as a fingerprint or face scan. Having to use both of those is a form of Two-Step Identification. Apple also uses Two- Step Identification to prevent somebody who has accessed your password from your account, but they don’t have another requirement to gain access fully to your account. Two-step requires another apple device to open your Iphone, this way it eliminates a hacker gaining access to your phone.

Turn Off Autofill

On the off chance that someone is able to get into your device they’ll have all your information using a feature called, Autofill. Autofill is enabled when that  little button everyone clicks on that says “Remember me” whenever they enter a password on their device. Autofill is the ability to allow your browser to save and fill in your password, giving the user the sense of “convenience.” You can turn this off simply by going to Settings, then to Advanced Settings and turning off the Autofill feature.  

Use a firewall to help protect your information.

Firewall is a software or hardware device that protects your computer from being attacked over the internet by hackers, viruses, and worms. This may occur either at a large corporate network, or simply at a small home network; both have the same security issues. A good free system to use is actually something most people have on their computer and that is Windows Firewall, which you can activate from your control panel.

Backup your data

We have all had those moments when we accidentally lose all of our data, whether it be on a phone or a computer, and things such as priceless pictures can be hard to replace. This is why it is always important to backup your data, whether it be on the cloud or another device. This way next time information is lost there will be no need to worry about it.

Secure your web browser

Not securing your web browser can lead to a large amount of computer problems caused by things such as spyware being installed without your knowledge or intruders recovering your information and taking control of your computer. Be sure to look at the URL for the locked icon or the unlocked icon, as well as to see if it is http or https. Because of how often web browsers are used, it is important to make sure they are safe and secure if you are putting any information on the website.

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