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Safeguard Your Personal Info

  • Be careful what you share. Online communities such as Facebook and Twitter ask you for a user name, e-mail address, and password when you sign up. You may also be asked for more personal information, such as your birth date, occupation, home and work addresses, phone numbers, gender, marital status, and so on.

    Web sites want personal information because it helps them build community and enables them to provide advertisers with demographic information about their members, but whether to share those details is your decision.

    Bottom Line: the more personal information you reveal online, the more vulnerable you are to scams, spam, and identity theft.

  • Be a minimalist - honesty is not always the best policy.  When signing up for free accounts like e-mail, blogs, instant messaging, music or photo sharing, give only the required pieces of information.

  • Look before you post. Before you sign up with a social networking community, read the privacy policy. It may be really boring reading, but you need to find out how the site will use your personal info you supply when you sign up.

  • Don't go public. Many sites enable you to control who can see and comment on your blog. You don't let just anyone into your house; lock your profile too!

  • Think long-term. Once something is online, you can never delete it. Just ask Lindsay Lohan. Anything published on the Web could have been viewed, e-mailed, printed or archived by almost anyone. 

  • Stay alert. As you get to know more people online, you may begin to share information casually. Scammers count on that false security to gather personal information that can help them commit fraud or steal your identity. Continue to use common sense as you make online friends. Listen to your instincts about people.

Don't Be a Victim

  • Don't accept friend requests from strangers. Does this really need to be said? Probably since you were able to talk adults have told you, "Don't talk to strangers." The same thing applies online.

    Let's face it. Do you really think that super hot girl is having trouble meeting people? Chances are it's some perv trying to get your personal information to commit identity theft.

  • Shop safely online.  Make sure the site is secure (the address starts with https not http).  Never give out bank account numbers, social security numbers, or any other personal information that is not absolutely needed.  Do not use a shared or public computer for online shopping.

  • Never rush to meet someone you have met online.  Even if you've met them on a reputable site and they seem trustworthy, be suspicious if they're pushy about wanting to meet you.  Make sure to talk on the phone before meeting, meet in a public place, and bring a friend.


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Week 1: Safeguard Your System  Week 2: Beware of Phishing Scams  Week 3: Safeguard Your Personal Info  Week 4: Secure Your Mobile Data