In some ways, advances in technology in the digital age have created a heightened threat to our privacy. In others, however, the digitization of our culture can help secure data and protect us from identity theft.
Your identity can be assumed and used for fraudulent purposes by any individual who unlawfully obtains your personal identification information (PII). PII can include any information “that can be used to distinguish or trace an individual’s identity,” according to the U.S. General Services Administration.
You may want to employ the following primary techniques for the best protection of your sensitive, private information and identification.
- Multi-step security checkpoints
Think about how many passwords you have. You enter a password for your email, online banking account, social media profiles, online shopping accounts, cell phone or cable company websites, and probably many more.
Too many people put their personal information at risk by using the same, or a similar, password for most if not all their accounts. They’ll often use their birth date, Social Security number, or name as part or all of their password, which is far less secure than an obscure word or number.
The trouble with this approach is that once a hacker determines an account password, he or she will try the same one on other accounts. The more he or she knows about you, such as name and birthdate, the more easily the person can hack other accounts.
To combat this, multi-step verification is now required on most prominent sites. Have you noticed the need for an extra bit of identifying information to access your account from another device or the inclusion of additional verification to create a new account?
This extra step may seem like a burden, but two-factor authentication or more will add layers of protection you’ll be thankful for later.
Multi-step verification may involve having to answer a security question or require you to enter an SMS-provided pin number to create an account or login. This is one of the ways technology protects your accounts from seemingly outlying behaviors or new devices.
This security measure is especially popular with social media accounts, which can be hacked and scanned for more personal information, such as physical locations you frequent or the people you spend time with.
- Biometric technology
First widely noted in science fiction movies such as Minority Report and the Star Trek franchise, biometric technology is an actual phenomenon implemented by real people today. As it pertains to security, this technology builds security measures on the scanning of your eye, fingerprints, face, or voice to grant access to a device, room, or building.
These devices’ ability to differentiate between unique human traits offer an avenue for more effective and less vulnerable protection than traditional passwords or codes.
- Password requirements
It can be infuriating to enter a new password but account creation often fails when your password does not contain a number, symbol, capital letter, or something else. This is understandably a source of annoyance for many web users who are in a hurry to get on with it, but the purpose is noble.
Many passwords are relatively easy to solve, especially for high-profile hackers. Having a complicated and unpredictable password can ensure your personal info is as much more secure from invasion.
Online password generators can help create a password to meet all necessary requirements.