11 Ways To Protect Your Identity At Work
So your mom told you not to talk to strangers, yet here you are, meeting up with random people from Tinder. And while that’s all a part of living in the digital age, heeding her advice wouldn’t be a bad thing entirely. Especially when it comes to protecting your identity on the internet.
We millennials spend way too much time on the internet, and thanks to that, are often vulnerable to identity theft, phishing, internet scams. What’s worse, we do it all at work! While that’s obviously not going to change, here are a few things you could do to protect your identity and all confidential information while using the internet at your workplace.
1. Watch what you print or photo copy at work
Printing or photo copying private documents like bank statements, ID cards, or a even photo of you and your boyfriend might seem harmless. But if you do forget to collect the print-out in time, or accidentally leave the original in the photo copier, it might land up in the wrong hands. Sure, everyone seems trust-worthy until they aren’t. So you might want to avoid printing and copying personal stuff unless absolutely necessary.
2. Use your phone as a hotspot, rather than your office Wi-Fi
If you are using the office Wi-Fi, be careful about the sites you visit. Your search history is definitely visible to your IT department. So unless you’re okay with that weird IT guy in the corner checking your online whereabouts, refrain from the personal browsing! If you really need to attend to some personal work online, use your phone as a hotspot instead.
3. Don’t stay logged in on email/ other accounts
When you’re not around at work, your desktop/ laptop might just be used by someone else. If you’re logged into your email, Facebook or other account, it could be misused. Also, staying logged in is begging for a privacy violation of some sort. So you might want to make sure you’re logged out of all accounts before you leave machine. While you’re at it, avoid the ‘Remember Password’ option at all costs.
4. Use a paper shredder to discard important documents you no longer need
Use the paper shredder to completely destroy a piece of paper that has confidential information like salary figures, bank balance amounts etc. Crumpling a paper into a ball and dunking it in the trash can may look cool from a distance, but it can be easily un-crumpled.
5. Avoid checking personal information at work
It is so tempting to check my bank balance on the computer on the 30th of every month, but I resist! Checking personal information like bank statements, phone bills, or insurance policies is a strict no-no at work.
6. Be careful when e-mailing confidential information
Often times the HR department or your boss will shoot you an email asking for some sensitive data. Be alert when you send personal information via email so that it doesn’t end up in someone else’s inbox. Instead of sending it to Puja, you might just send it to Pooja… so be careful.
7. Dim the brightness on your screen
Keep the brightness on your laptop at the lowest level possible or invest in a screen protector to allow only someone who is looking straight at the monitor to view the details on it. This will keep prying eyes from catching a glimpse of what’s on your screen.
8. Clear your desk before you leave work
Make sure to clear out your work space before you leave every evening. If you are the type who likes to keep frames, pen stands, and even fairy lights on the desk, make sure you don’t leave any valuable or important papers behind.
9. Pick strong passwords to protect your devices
From your desktop computer to your phone, make sure all your devices are password-protected! So even if these devices fall into other people’s hands, you will have nothing to worry about.
10. Lock your computer in safe drawers before you leave work
Instead of locking your makeup, try to lock away things that actually matter, like your laptop or any important documents when you are not around.
11. Don’t just click on any link
A quick way for hackers to get your personal information is by asking you to click on random links. Avoid clicking on random pages, and check the source before you send out your life information to anyone, in order to avoid that random Rs. 5,00,000 loan in your name.