Although the security opportunities available today are more abundant than they were when the World Wide Web first originated, the online world is still a very dangerous place. It can cause even the biggest companies to spend millions of dollars on security. Hackers and thieves have become more creative and clever, which exposes more people than ever to malicious viruses and spyware. Thankfully, there are several ways to protect yourself from the internet bad guys with some simple steps.

7 Ways to Prevent Online Theft:

1. One of the simplest and most obvious ways to protect your password is to simply not share it with anybody. Keep it a secret even from loved ones, especially children who have a tendency to pass them on to other people.

2. Protect your password by using multiple passwords. Although most people do not do this because of the difficulty in remembering them, it is right at the top of important things. If you must, write them down somewhere and put them under lock and key.

3. Whatever you do, don’t store your passwords on your computer. It’s one of the first places hackers will look to try and break into your bank accounts.

4. On the internet there are many scams known as “Phishing”. This process entails hackers who send fraudulent emails to try and get you to respond and reveal your username and password, or they encourage you to download something by posing as one of your friends and email contacts. If you see a strange email from a relative or contact you’ve not heard from in a while, beware. Never download anything that looks strange, nor click on any links without first contacting your acquaintance to ask if they were the real person who sent this to you.

5. List a minimum of eight characters when coming up with a password. Include both uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols to decrease the likelihood of being revealed.

6. Never, ever, disclose any personal information about the design of your password. People have a tendency to try and include personal information in their passwords because it’s easier to remember. Spouses, kids or pet names should be off limits. Hackers are very good at guessing these and you could be opening yourself up to identity theft. Try not to use common words or simple words, either.

7. Another great way to protect your information is to use multiple passwords for different systems. Every time you use someone else’s computer and use your password, you are opening up the door to be hacked. Remember that the only way someone can obtain your valuable information is through carelessness.

With today’s virus protection software and the proper use of password protection, you should never have a problem online. Sometimes people just forget to be safe until something bad happens, but through early prevention you can save many headaches and lost hours, money and time later on.