Happy Thursday, everyone!! I hope you’ve been hanging in there and making the best of a totally crazy and unprecedented situation. Because we’ve all been spending HOURS more time online than we usually do, I wanted to put together a guide that is going to help you keep your digital footprint safe in a time where we put SO much data on the internet. Let’s dive right into this.
This post is sponsored by Allstate. All opinions are my own.
Protecting Your Digital Footprint
Protect Your Social Security Number
Your SSN is arguably the most important piece of identifying information you own. The FTC says that it’s a good idea to leave your Social Security card at home, in a safe place vs keeping it in your wallet. Think critically about why someone would need your SSN before sharing it. Typically, activities do not need your SSN – an ID should suffice. Guard this number carefully! I know you guys know this – but there are SO many scammers that call sounding totally legit and you may not be able to tell what’s real or not. Be overly critical and ask lots of questions before sharing it. It’s so much better to be safe than sorry.
Use An External Hard drive
I am ETERNALLY grateful for my external hard drive. I keep all my photos, important financial documents and business files on this drive. If something happens to my computer, my drive is in a different location and safe. I back it up every 30 days.
I also keep a physical file of all of my important documents as well. I print everything off and keep THOSE in a different location from both my computer and my hard drive. I have 3 copies of everything just in case something unfortunate happens to one copy.
Choose Secure Passwords
Alright, raise your hand if you use the same password for everything – just different variations. I’m guessing a LOT OF YOU are in this boat. And honestly – until recently, I was there, too. When you come up with a password it’s best for it to be something completely arbitrary – it shouldn’t have any kind of significance to your personal life. Make sure you include an upper case, lower case, a symbol and a number!
I KNOW how annoying it is to have to have all these passwords be so crazy and different. It makes it harder to remember – but I promise that it’ll be better in the long run. If a hacker finds one of your passwords – do you want to run the risk of them using it to access your bank account?
Use Social Media Safely
Listen, I’m a big social media user so I’m by NO means suggesting that you shouldn’t use social media. If you have public profiles, keep your personally identifiable information minimal. The less specific information available, the safer your digital identity will be.
- Place a fraud alert
- Dispute the charges
- Make an official report
- Close fraudulent accounts
- Dispute fraudulent charges
- Correct credit reports
Allstate now has free Identity Protection coverage for the rest of 2020 when you sign-up by the end of May in order to help everyone stay protected and safe. Some things they do to aid you in protection:
1. They Detect
2. They Resolve
3. They Reimburse
They also have something really amazing called “Allstate Digital Footprint”. They’ve come up with a way to see exactly what accounts you have online, what kind of data you’ve shared and what might leave you exposed to less-than-savory characters. I’m personally signed up for the premier package myself. You can get it for free through the end of 2020 – so there’s absolutely NO reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of this right now!
I want you all to stay totally protected right now because we are on the internet more than ever. I think we forget (I definitely forget) how much data we put out there. From signing up for subscription services, entering our info to get free shipping, etc. We are putting so much out there, and it can be overwhelming to think about what we’ve left exposed.
Allstate is there to make sure you are protected and have all of the info you need to stay safe!