Are You Protecting Yourself Online?

November 11, 2015

Whenever we use the internet, there is always the potential that a data breach could occur. We give the internet so much of our personal information and rights without even realizing all of the privacy we’ve given up for more convenience. In fact, 12 adults become a victim of cyber-crime every second. The following tips can help protect you from a potential data breach of your personal information.

1. Keep your computers and mobile devices up to date. This may seem like an unexpected tip, but the biggest defense against online threats is updating your security software, operating system, and web browser.

2. Read the site’s privacy policies. You may not realize what you are actually agreeing to when you simply click the “I agree” button. Even though it is time consuming, reading the privacy policies will allow you to understand how the site will be using and protecting your personal information. You may even find that you may want to do business elsewhere.

3. Set strong passwords. This is a given. A mix of upper and lower case letters, special characters, and at least 8 characters in length are the general recommendations for a strong password.

4. Shop cautiously. When entering in your personal information at the checkout page, check to see if the page’s web address begins with https. and that a locked padlock symbol appears on the page. This generally means that it’s a safe website with secure technology.

5. Be cautious of your internet connection. We all take advantage of free Wi-Fi and connect to it whenever it’s available. However, it’s important to be cautious about what information you pull up or send over public networks.

6. Don’t get caught in a phishing scam. Never click on pop-ups, links, or any attachments that are from unfamiliar emails or websites. This is one of the leading causes of data breaches and viruses on computer and mobile devices.

7. Keep personal information personal. If you wouldn’t want a stranger to know the information, don’t use it online. Be aware of who you connect with on social media, what websites you give your credit card information to, and any other information you give out.

There will always be a risk when we “log on,” and with the growing use of technology, the threat of a data breach is never going away. Use these tips and share them with friends and family to help protect you and your loved ones when going online. If you are in need of insurance or would like to speak to one of our agents about your current policy, please contact us today at 515-232-7060 or at We look forward to serving you.