Much of our daily business no longer requires personal interaction.  Many businesses, including banks, now offer electronic transaction opportunities.  But while it may be extremely convenient to use your Blackberry to check your banking balance and your laptop to order the latest best seller from Amazon, electronic transactions create a new genre of security issues.  Here are a few tips to keep yourself secure online.

Do not use your social security number as a form of identification.
While it may seem like a convenient username that you can easily remember, it opens you up for identity theft.

Be careful with personal information online. Unless you are on a trusted site, and they have a good reason for requesting personal information, don’t share.

Use a variety of usernames and passwords. If someone does get a hold of one of your username/password combos, you don’t want them to then have access to all of your online accounts.

Make your passwords secure. Don’t use the word “password” for your password.  Also, consider including numbers or symbols to make your passwords more secure. Words are easy to decipher; random alpha and numeric phrases are much more difficult to interpret.

Be careful in your choice of security questions. Be sure to choose questions that would be difficult for other people to answer.  Having said that, be careful that you don’t share that information on Facebook (It defeats the purpose of security questions).

Log off when you’re done. When you’re done checking your bank account or shopping online, log off of the site.  This prevents other from getting your information if they use the computer after you.

Avoid unknown sources.  Don’t download or open attachments from an unknown source.  They could be harmful to your device and your security.

Delete texts from your bank. Especially if other people have access to your mobile device, you don’t want them to also have access to your banking information.

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