Dear Computer Lady,
Is this age of identity theft, is there something one should do with a home computer to prevent it?
There are a few things you can do with your home computer to make it harder for hackers to steal your identity.
1. Make sure you have a good security program.
Gone are the days when you can get by with just a free antivirus program. These days, there are so many threats online, and most of them are not viruses, that you need a full featured security program. I use and recommend AVG Internet Security 2011.
2. Don’t store your social security number on your computer.
I don’t have my social security number, bank account number or credit card number on my computer. I don’t need to have it on there, so why risk exposing it to the world at large. I do use my credit card online, but I don’t save the number, I type it in each time I use it.
3. Use strong passwords.
If you do have private information stored on your computer, say a tax program, or financial program, or you access your bank statements online, make sure you have a strong password. What makes a strong password? I like to start with a short phrase, then substitute numbers for some of the vowels and make sure a random letter or two is capitalized. I also like to mix up the words of my original phrase.
If you do have a program like a financial program on your computer, make sure you password protect the file, and use a strong password.
Following these suggestions will help you keep your computer and your information more secure.