When you look at the title of this read, the first question that might have popped up in your mind is what does PII mean? Well, we’ll come to that part in the later section of this article. But, before you proceed ahead, it is important that we know how important it is for us to safeguard our privacy these days. Since cybercriminals are lurking around us in different forms, we may not be able to decode in what form they enter our lives. And, there comes the part when it becomes very crucial to make sure that you are not one of them whose data is stolen or whose identity is at risk.
As we know, the internet has become a very crucial part of our lives. Almost all our day-to-day activities have now been connected to the use of the internet. From the time we wake up until we sleep, we are subject to the usage of the internet for accomplishing different activities.
From making instant transactions to searching for a diverse range of things on the web, we have started to rely on the web a lot more than before and this is what hackers are using to their benefit.
But, what a lot of users are not aware of is the information that we unknowingly share over different online platforms. Just like we have become great followers of the internet, meanwhile, it follows us too. No matter what device are we using, a device without an internet connection is simply useless. And there are both negative and positive sides to it.
So, in the section below, we shall have a look at how negatively it is impacting our lives especially by snatching our Personally Identifiable information.
Explaining what PII means
Whenever we visit any website online whether to shop, bank online, surf the web, or simply make flight or hotel bookings, we unknowingly share some information about ourselves. And, this part of the information is known as “Personally Identifiable Information.” And, if you do not know how valuable it is to us, then you should certainly know it once it gets compromised. Well, we hope that you do not have to face any such problem ever, therefore, we want you to get well prepared in advance so that you can avoid falling prey to any such attack.
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Well, in simple terms, we can say that our PII is the information that we share while we create an account online. For example, when we log in to our online banking account or sign up on a shopping portal, some part of the information is stored by the specific website so that they can serve a better experience to us whenever we visit the same portal later on. In addition to this, sometimes, they also save some information about our device’s IP address, etc.
However, it is not important that we go into the technicalities but what is important here is that we get to learn more about safeguarding our PII from going into the wrong hands.
Best practices to protect your PII
If you do not want your personal information to get abused and want to keep it safe from online hackers, then you are suggested to install a security program on your device. Well, there are a lot of security programs that are available on the mcafee.com/activate website allowing users to select from a wide range of security options. However, it is important that you know what program serves what purpose.
But, in addition to using security software, you should also consider undergoing some practices that would help you in making sure your PII does not go into the wrong hands:
Take necessary actions to protect your SSN
As you may know your Social Security Number works as the key to your information and is considered one of the most valuable assets of the citizen. Therefore, it is pretty important that you take the necessary actions to make sure that your SSN details are safe with you. Also, make sure that this information card is kept in a very safe location. Additionally, you should avoid sharing your details on the platforms that seem to be suspicious.
Our devices are the hub of our private information and therefore we should make sure that nobody gains access to the files that you have stored over it. Therefore, all the users are suggested to take necessary precautions and use extensive security measures to safeguard the information you have stored.
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Avoid participating in quizzes
In the past, it has been noted that a lot of users became victims of identity theft just by participating in some suspicious quizzes. No matter how attractive the prize money is or how much you are lured by the quiz, avoid giving in to their scams as they may steal important information from you and use it to plot something bad against you.
Do not over-share and look for HTTPS
Avoid sharing too much about yourself on social media and make sure that the online websites you are visiting are safe. You can ensure the same by checking if the website URL starts with HTTPS or not.
By having a look at the information that we have shared above, it is crystal clear that our online activities are being tracked on a great level and we must take necessary actions to make sure that we share as less information online as we can. This will not only safeguard us in the long run but will also ensure that we do not become victims of any scam. However, we should consider using multiple layers of protection to ensure our information is never misused.