Online thieves are coming up with new ways to steal your identity and your money. Use these tips to help protect yourself.
Safety and security tips
Create a strong password
Never share your username or password with others. If you have trouble remembering a password, write down a hint, not the actual password. Also use a different password for each site; that way, if one password is compromised, the rest of your information is not in jeopardy. Keep in mind that we will never ask you for your password.
Install a firewall
Your computer's first line of defense is a firewall. It protects your machine from hackers and intruders by keeping out unauthorized traffic. You can set the level of protection, and the software will determine what traffic may access your computer. Always save financial and personal business for your personal computer that is protected by a firewall.
Use updated antivirus and antispyware software
Computer viruses can disable your computer while spyware can steal your passwords and account numbers. Make sure you have antivirus and antispyware software installed, and run a check on your computer regularly.
Update crucial software automatically
Set your operating system and security software to automatically update. As the software company finds ways to improve security, it will send you the fix over the Internet.
There are many free games, utilities and software applications online, but some contain viruses or spyware. Only download from reputable manufactures or trusted sites.
Disconnect when you're finished
Turning off your computer when it's not in use reduces the chance that another computer can access it.
Look for phishing emails and fraudulent scams
Never respond to an email or pop-up asking for personal information, no matter how official it looks. Instead, call the customer service number listed on their official website or on printed material. For Nationwide, that number is 1-877-669-6877.
Protect your phone
Create a startup and auto-lock password so only you can access your phone. Then install remote wipe software, which can erase personal information if your phone is lost or stolen.
Learn how social media scams work
Some phishers will post a survey on a social media site to get you to share your information. Others will gather details about you from a social media site to tailor a scam message for you. Don’t share personal information unless you trust the source.
Use a credit card
If you shop online, use a credit card, not a debit card linked to your bank account. Credit cards offer better protection against unauthorized use of your account. Ask your credit card company if they can provide a virtual account number that is valid for a single purchase so you won't have to give the merchant your permanent card number.
Avoid using public computers
Don't use computers in libraries, hotels or airports to conduct personal business. You cannot be certain that these systems have the proper security in place. The same is true when using your computer on a wireless network.
Be smart about wireless technology
Set up your home wireless network securely by configuring your wireless router with WPA2 encryption, using a complex passphrase or key. Also, change your router’s default administrator password.