Cybersecurity Mistakes You’re Probably Making

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The Internet can be a dangerous place, especially if you fall prey to scams seeking to steal your passwords, bank information, or even your whole identity. In this article, we will be discussing some of the most common mistakes people make, putting their Internet safety and security in jeopardy.

Americans make at least one of the following mistakes when it comes to securing their data, says Joseph Steinberg, Author of "Cybersecurity for Dummies." Below we will elaborate on the most common mistakes being made when it comes to browsing the Internet securely. This information was gathered through a survey of over 2,500 adults that had been conducted through bankrate.com.

Most common mistakes:

Reusing passwords

4 in 5 people are making this mistake. This is dangerous because if a hacker gains access to one of your accounts, it's likely they'll be able to get into several others if they try out the same password.

Saving passwords

It's so much more convenient to gain access to your banking, social media accounts, and email when the password is already saved on your mobile phone or laptop. Unfortunately, this also makes your passwords more accessible to others if you happen to lose one of your devices.

Saving Payment Information

We know how annoying it gets to have to manually type in your credit card number and expiration date every time you make a purchase on Amazon, book a flight, etc. Still, it’s probably worth sacrificing the convenience to instead ensure your security. 

Other Common Mistakes:

Using ATMs (28% of people)

Let's clarify that you're most likely safe using an ATM at a legitimate financial institution. Now, that ATM on the corner street of New York City? A little bit riskier. Criminals can fit skimming devices and small cameras into them, to gain your personal information. Since banks are typically surrounded by cameras, it's less likely an identity theft will accomplish these tasks at the ATM of a financial institution.

Carrying your Social Security Card (26% of people)

This is the most sacred document when it comes to your identity. If you lose it, it's practically an invitation for identity theft. If taken, thieves can open credit cards and take out loans in your name.

Not Shredding Personal Documents (23% of people)

If you're tossing away documents that have personal information with your name, birth date, social security number, etc. you may want to consider shredding up these papers beforehand. The truth is that if someone is eager to obtain your information, they can easily do so by rummaging through your trash. Might seem far-fetched, but it happens!

Sharing Your Birth Date (15% of people)

Posting your birthday on social media sites like Facebook might seem harmless. Let's be honest, we all love getting those "Happy Birthday!" posts each year from acquaintances we haven't seen in a decade. Still, if you're lax about who you accept as a friend on social media, or if it's set to public, this offers an opportunity for your Internet security to be compromised. If someone already has access to your social security number, or bank card, your birth date might be the golden ticket to full-fledged identity theft.

What to Do

So we listed out some of the most common cybersecurity mistakes people make, but the truth is that there are a variety of ways your personal information can be obtained. We're not saying this to scare you, we just want you to know that actions that might be seemingly innocent could be used to an identity theft's advantage if you're not careful.

In conclusion, we suggest not saving personal information or credit cards on any of your devices, being selective about who you add on social media and who you allow to see your content, keeping important documents like your social security card at home, as well as shredding any documents you wouldn't want a stranger seeing! This should reduce the likelihood of your security being compromised and your identity being stolen tremendously.

We hope our article has offered helpful insight on how to stay safe on the Internet, as well as how you can break any unsafe habits that might increase the odds of your personal information getting stolen! 

 

Happy Internet Browsing! Stay safe. 

 

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