Think again if you think your personal information is secure. Data security is now the exception and not the rule. About 282 million people experienced some sort of data breach in 2021, making them vulnerable to a variety of crimes, including:
- Fraudulent credit card charges
- Compromised bank accounts
- Hacked email accounts
- Social media account takeovers
- Unauthorized applications for loans or lines of credit
Internet users are unfortunately susceptible to exploitation by unscrupulous people. Thus, it’s important to learn what kinds of information these individuals are seeking and how they can take advantage of your data. In addition, you need to know how to protect yourself by safeguarding your information online.
What personal information should you safeguard?
The most critical type of information to keep private is personally identifiable information (PII).
PII is defined as “information that can be used to determine or verify an individual’s identity, whether alone or in combination with other personally identifiable information that is linked or linkable to a specific individual.”
Here are a few examples of PII:
Names: Your full name, your maiden name, and your mother’s maiden name
Personal ID numbers: Your driving license number, passport number, ID number, credit account number, or financial account number
Addresses: Your street address and email address
Biometrics: Retina scans, fingerprints, facial geometry, or voice signatures
Technology asset information: Media Access Control (MAC) or Internet Protocol (IP) addresses of devices.
Although this list may seem exhaustive, it does not cover all the personal information you need to safeguard. Additionally, you should be aware of what you post (and what others post about you) on social media and other sharing sites, since these things serve as clues to your identity when combined with the previous information.
Why it’s so important to keep your personal information confidential?
- Prevent identity theft
- Protect your financial information
- Avoid being robbed
- Protect your employability
- Maintain your business’s reputation
- Protect yourself from threats that don’t exist yet.