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How To Keep Your Personal Information Safe Online

When you spend time online, you could unknowingly be putting your personal information at risk and making it easier for someone to steal your identity.

Use these tips to help keep your personal information safe online:

Choose strong passwords: Make sure your passwords have a mix of letters, numbers and special characters, if the site you’re registering for allows it. And don’t use the same password across multiple sites. If one site gets hacked, the hacker will be able to access your information through accounts that use the same password.

Access personal information from a secure connection: When using a free, public Wi-Fi hotspot, only log in or send personal information to sites you know are fully encrypted. Look for https at the beginning of the web address (the “s” is for secure) and a lock icon at the top or bottom of your browser window. Log out of every site before signing off.

Read the privacy policy: Make sure you understand how an organization might use your information once you sign up. Review the policy a few times a year so you are always aware of how your information is being used.

If you realize your personal information has been stolen or used inappropriately, contact the police, place a fraud alert on your accounts, and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.