1. Avoid sensitive transactions that require your personal or bank information while using airport and other insecure networks. Your information can be monitored and gathered when passed unencrypted over a public Wi-Fi network.
2. Lock your phone with a PIN to avoid losing your data, money, or identity. You should also back up the information on your phone to your computer or an online service.
3. Think twice before filling out marketing-related questionnaires that could be distributed or sold without your permission. Avoid questionnaires or health screenings in malls and public places.
4. Monitor your Facebook presence and privacy carefully using the ‘View as’ feature in your account settings. Stay informed about updates that require new privacy settings.
5. Be aware of where you sign into your email, bank, and Facebook accounts. Always log out of your account when you are using a public computer, and be wary of allowing security certificates on unknown networks. Always choose strong passwords.
6. Be cautious when clicking links received in emails or other messages. Spot a malicious email by examining the email address. If it claims to be from a trusted address, hover over the link (without clicking) to see whether the link connects to a legitimate website. If a link claims to be from a bank or business in the U.S., make sure that it does not end with .cn or another country code.
7. Avoid searching personal information about yourself if you have your email account open on the same browser to prevent your private information from being tracked.
8. Use available privacy options and opt-outs when you create online and social network accounts. Opt out of tracking features when possible.
9. Discuss the privacy of your medical records with your doctor. Request a copy of your medical records before they are sent to another party, such as an insurance company.
10. Guard your identity carefully by looking for unusual public records or credit activity in your IdentitySmart report.
11. Use varied passwords for your email, bank, Facebook, and other personal accounts. Avoid staying logged into an account unless it’s on a private computer.
12. Avoid sharing your social security number whenever possible. Don’t carry around your Social Security card, military ID, Medicare, or other valuable personal identifiers.
13. Keep your computer software updated. Install upgrades as soon as possible to protect yourself, your computer, and your information.
14. Teach your kids not to give out personal information online without your permission.
15. Keep your personal records, bank statements, and billing statements in a secure location, preferably with a lock. Shred paperwork you no longer need. Always collect your mail promptly and ask the post office to hold it while you're away. This prevents thieves from stealing your information. For more information about your credit history and tips, visit the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, and the Federal Trade Commission.