Although it's impossible to make certain your personal information is completely secure online, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of identity theft, including keeping software updated and using caution when providing personal information. Set your security software to update automatically, minimizing the risk of criminal hacking.
Never give out any personal or financial information through the Internet, phone or mail without knowing who you are giving it to. That includes clicking on company links sent through email, even if it appears to be from a trusted source. Call the customer service line directly or type the company's website name into your browser to log in to the account and verify the validity of the email. Reading privacy policies helps to understand how a company maintains data privacy and how it uses the data it collects. Only provide personal data to secure websites; a secure website's address appears in a browser with "https://" rather than "http://" before it.
Delete all personal information stored on a computer or mobile device before disposing of it. All passwords should be kept private and unique and use a combination of letters, numbers and special characters for extra security. Avoid posting or sharing too much information on social sites and profiles.
Other ways to help secure online personal data include using a secure wireless network, installing security software and avoiding automatic log-in features on frequently-visited websites.