Avoiding identity theft may be simpler than you think

It seems there are more online scams than ever

(WSAV) – Most of us don’t think about identity theft every day, but it might not be a bad idea. Tom Stephens from the Better Business Bureau says Georgia is now among the top ten states for reports of identity theft based fraud.

It seems there are more online scams than ever and Stephens along with Savannah computer expert Toby Postin says there are several things you can do to protect yourself. They say the number one thing is make sure you use different passwords for different accounts.

“If you have the same password and that password gets compromised on a low security website for example, then they’ll just take your log in information and put that into some website that could mess you up like at your bank,” said Postin.

Postin says it may be a pain, but try using a different password on each account. He uses what he calls a “password manager” to keep track of all his passwords. He says you can even get an app for your phone that will allow you to access that information.

And Stephens has advice about what kind of passwords you should use and it’s not easy ones. “The common password used is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and then the second most common is the word password, ” he said.

Stephens says simplistic passwords and using the same one all the time is just setting yourself up to be hacked. He says make your passwords complicated and it’s not usually a good idea to use things like the name of your children, in case a hacker has personal information about you.

Postin says making sure that you guard your information includes guarding the password first because he says having one password compromised – that you may use for many accounts – can affect your finances. “It can really affect you negatively as far as your bank accounts, email and your life. Everyone’s life is online,” says Postin.