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Keeping Your Identity Safe Online
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Student Contributor
Posted May 10, 2016
Don’t put personal information on personal websites
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I recently created a digital portfolio, and because my target audience was employers or professionals, I wanted to have a way for them to get ahold of me. This led me to putting my phone number and email address directly on the website in addition to having a contact form built into the website. What I didn’t realize was this isn’t a best practice for keeping my identity safe. I learned that I should never put my phone number on anything because if they truly need to get ahold of me they will try email first. I also learned that I should list my email address in a unique way so that it can’t be copy and pasted onto a spam email list. For example, list it on your website as, “screenname(at)email(dot)com”.
Don’t use public information as answers to security questions
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Sometimes account security questions can be easy, like “Name of your family pet.” If you choose to answer these types of security questions, make sure they cannot be easily found by hackers on places like social media. Try using more challenging questions like “Maternal grandmother’s maiden name.”
Change your passwords often
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Get into the habit of changing your passwords every three-to-six months. The more often you change your passwords, the less of a chance you have of someone being able to hack your account.
Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know
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Remember that phrase your parents taught you when you were young: stranger danger? Well, it still applies when it comes to social media. While it’s common to have accounts that aren’t private, try using privacy settings so that you can pick and choose who you allow to follow you.
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