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The internet can be a fantastic way to have fun, learn new things, catch up with friends or simply read the news.

However, just because you’re using the internet legitimately, that doesn’t mean everyone else is! You wouldn’t go around with your name and address on display to everyone you to talk to, so life online should be no different.

How to Protect Yourself Online

Passwords – People tend to use the same password across a number of websites, but this isn’t a good idea at all! Try to mix things up and use different passwords especially for things like online banking. It’s also a good idea to get into the habit of changing passwords regularly. Make passwords hard to guess – don’t use names and make sure you use a mixture of letters and numbers.

Domain and hosting – Avoid free domains, email clients, and hosting solutions. Make sure to invest into a custom domain, and host your email and data on a reliable hosting.

Banking Details – Do not under any circumstances email your bank card details to anyone. There are phishing scams that can tempt you into emailing your number to a company, but this is usually a third party trying to trick you.

Be Responsible – Make sure that you check your own banking to see what purchases have come out. Make sure you know what all of the transactions are and query any that you are unsure of with your bank or credit card company. Australia-based marketing agency Digital Eagles has a lot to say about securing your digital assets:

Credit Reports – Check your own credit reports to make sure that people aren’t applying for credit in your name. If there is anything you don’t recognise, contact the credit agency to deal with this straight away.

Protect Your Internet – If you’re using a wireless router make sure that it is password encrypted to make sure that no one else can log into your internet and make use of it.

Credit Cards – Remember that when you use a credit card to make a purchase you have more protection than if you were to use a debit card. If you’re making a big purchase online then use a credit card, so that if something goes wrong you are well protected. Tools like Aura will help you keep your credit cards secure and alert you of any suspicious activity:

Virus Protection – Always make sure that your computer is fully protected against viruses. Free virus protection such as AVG is a great way of making sure that when you do use your computer to go online you know you are doing it without risk. Also make sure that you update this regularly, although most programmes will prompt you when this needs doing.

Act Fast – If something does go wrong and your online identity is breached then make sure you take control straight away. Contact your bank for advice as they are often very good at helping you cope with something like this.

Proper protection is important, both online and physically. Most people are aware of the precautions they need to take to prevent injury when doing physical work or over-exerting themselves, but you’d be surprised how many people ignore their online safety. The reality is, your online identity is important, and so is online security. Make sure your online identity is fully protected.