Homer’s 10 Tips on How to Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft
The 27th season of the Simpsons is just about to get underway and we’re stoked.
If there is one thing we at LogDog enjoy as much as talking about Internet security it’s watching The Simpsons. That’s why we’ve decided to dedicate these ten cyber security tips to one of my favorite animated characters- Homer Simpson himself.
After having worked at the world-famous Springfield Nuclear Power Plant for going on 27 years you can bet that Homer Simpson has learned quite a bit about security technology. Here are ten expert tips which anyone who cares about their online security at all, should definitely follow.
We think Homer would feel the same way.
1) Homer Simpson on Logging out
Closure is Key.
Finished using that computer?
Not so fast bub.
First log out from all of those accounts you signed into. Someone could get on that same computer and hijack your unclosed accounts.
When it comes to logging out, closure is key. Be safe; not sorry.
2) Homer On How To Create A Secure Password
Complex is best.
Please. Your birthday is not a secret. Your dog’s name is not a secret. They don’t belong in your password.
Your best bet: choose a password with lower and upper case letters, numbers, and symbols.
3) Homer On Where To Keep Passwords to Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft
Don’t use a post it.
It’s not just weirdos in funny masks who can hack into your online accounts. If given the opportunity even your friends, neighbors, or loved ones might take liberties with your online identity.
Don’t let that happen.
Save your passwords in a very secure place, and whatever you do, never leave them on a note near your computer.
And also make sure you don’t have them exposed in your emails! Use this free tool to keep you safe by removing any and all private data putting you at risk for credit card and identity theft from your emails.
So if hackers hack your inbox, they won’t find what they’re looking for, and you’ll be protected.
4) Homer On Avoiding Romance Scams
Don’t do anything you’ll regret.
You know that beautiful-yet-poor foreigner you met online? You know the one you’re madly attracted to, understands you, appreciates you for you and all that crap?
Yeah. Just don’t send them money when they say they want to buy a plane ticket to visit you.
5) Homer On Bank Scams
Not so fast there partner.
No bank will ever send an email saying, “We’ve identified suspicious activity in your account. If you don’t click on this link and provide your details we will freeze your account.”
That’s called phishing; and it’s someone trying to trick you.
This classic Homerism pretty much sums up what I think about phishing criminals, “You couldn’t fool your mother on the foolingest day of your life if you had an electrified fooling machine.”
6) Homer On How To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft
Don’t let your personal info out of the bag.
Imagine all of the sensitive information you have saved in your email account.
What would happen if a hacker gained access to all of that information? He would have all those passwords, all those secrets, everything.
Protect yourself by deleting email messages with sensitive information.
7) Homer On How To Stay Safe On Public Wi-Fi
Watch you back.
You can never be too paranoid with your login information in public. With shoulder surfers, security cams, and video cameras on every personal phone around; these days snoopy eyes are everywhere.
And when using a public Wi-Fi network keep in mind that you are sharing a network with a bunch of strangers. Keep your data as secure as possible by turning off the sharing option on your computer, opt not to automatically connect to public Wi-Fi networks, and remember to turn off your Wi-Fi when you finish using it.
8) Homer On Two-Step Verification
2 are better than one.
Fraudsters have an arsenal of ways to obtain sensitive information from their victims. Phishing, malware, and shoulder surfing just to name a few.
Thankfully, popular online services such as Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox now offer Two-Step Verification. The extra login step adds an additional layer of security.
9) Homer On Phone Call Scams
You can never be too careful.
Imagine receiving the following phone call…
“Hi, this is Tammy from Bank of America. We’ve noticed some suspicious activity with your bank account and, for your own account security; I just wanted to just check whether it was you. May I ask you a few questions?”
You’d probably trust Tammy, but what if ‘Tammy’ was really a con artist? Many people get tricked like this every day- don’t let it happen to you.
10) Homer Simpson on that Email from your friend who got stranded in a third world country and lost his wallet and desperately needs you to wire him some money otherwise he will never make it out alive, and by the way, please don’t tell his parents or other unspecified loved ones (AKA Stranded Traveler Scam)
It’s a trap. Do’h.
Just because you received a message from a contact you know doesn’t mean it’s legit. Think about it, your friends account could have been hacked.
Think twice before sending money to anyone based on an ominous email.
So when it comes to emails from people you know, be a friend, but don’t be an idiot.
I’ve got a date with my TV set now, looking forward to the new season of the Simpsons. In the meantime, enjoy the new season and stay safe online.
Can you think of any other internet tips which any of the Simpsons would like? For bonus points, add a catch phrase such as “Do’h,” “Eat my shorts,” or “Hmm…”