Protect Your Identity Top 5

1. Create Strong Passwords

Strong passwords are difficult to guess but easy to remember. Keep these tips in mind, when creating passwords:

  • Long: passwords should be long, with a minimum of 12 characters
  • Complex: passwords should be a combination of upper-/lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters (when possible)
  • Unique: never reuse a previous password, none of your passwords should look alike; try using a short phrase or sentence ( no personal info such as your name or B-Day)
  • Don't share your passwords with anyone (including your parent, spouse, etc).
  • Don't use the same password on all of your accounts. If a person discovers your password, they will have access to all of your accounts.

2. Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

MFA is a layered approach to securing online accounts and the data they contain. It requires you to provide a combination of two or more authentications, to verify your identity, and gain access to a resource such as an application, online account, or VPN (Virtual Private Network).

3. Limit What You Share

Don’t overshare on social media. Providing too much information could make it easier for cybercriminals to obtain identifying information, which could allow them to steal your identity or to access your financial information.

4. Avoid Public WiFi

Doing schoolwork on a public WiFi network, like the ones at coffee shops, allows hackers to eavesdrop on the data you send over the network to the websites you visit. If you log in to your financial or retail accounts or you enter credit card or personal information, they can steal it, and either use it or sell it to the highest bidder.

  • Use your mobile data plan (when possible)
  • Ask the for the official WiFi Name, when using public WiFi
  • Enable the Firewall on your device and use a VPN (avoid free VPNs)

5. Watch Out for Scams

Don’t click on links or open attachments in emails from people you do not recognize. Even if you recognize the source, make sure to verify it’s legitimate before you take action. Scammers may try to impersonate your school, financial loan service, and other organizations. Only contact these organizations through official channels you find on their website.