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Tips for Protecting Yourself Online

This post is sponsored by Allstate. All opinions are my own.

Pretty much all of us are spending more time on the internet during this unprecedented time – which is no surprise. A recent poll shows that e-commerce spending in the United States is up 30% over this same time last year—that’s a whole lot of puzzles, backyard toys, and tie-dye loungewear being added to virtual shopping carts.  And even if retail therapy isn’t your thing, another study shows that 87% of adults credit the internet with being important to them on a personal level during this time of quarantine. Tik Tok, Zoom and Internet Fitness, have surged in popularity, just to name a few. Not to mention, of course, keeping up with all those crazy cats and kittens in the Tiger King. I know for me; the internet provides a welcome reprieve from the craziness around us and acts as a lifeline of connection during this time of social distancing. I use it to connect with my community on Instagram Stories which makes me feel less alone. I use it to setup grocery pickup. I use it (obviously) to keep my blog and YouTube channel running). However, I know that more time online can raise cybercrime risk and put my personal data in harm’s way. 

I’ve always tried to be very conscious of the “digital footprints” I leave during my many internet dealings. When I am shopping online, watching YouTube, or posting pics on social media, I know I am leaving behind data that could potentially expose my identity. Yikes! It’s scary for me, as someone who shares my life with so many across the world – but it’s not just Instagrammers and YouTubers like me that need to be smart and cautious, this is something that impacts anyone who uses the internet.  We are all pretty diligent in protecting our identity in the real world, but sometimes we get lax about it online because the internet doesn’t always feel as “real.” But I know that I need to be equally conscientious about protecting my identity in the digital world.

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Some of the simple ways I protect my online identity:

  • creating strong and memorable passwords 
  • keeping my software up-to-date
  • double-checking my privacy settings (2-step authentication for everything)
  • being aware of emails or apps that may be phishing for information (I almost never EVER click links in emails, even from friends) 

I do all these things to protect myself and my data but, to be honest, protecting my personal data on the internet often feels extremely overwhelming, not to mention time-consuming. I do a lot of these things and still sometimes wonder if I’m missing anything. I feel like it’s nearly impossible to be sure I’ve crossed all my T’s and dotted all my I’s. That’s why I was thrilled when I heard about an amazing program from Allstate that helps protect your identity in the digital world.

Allstate’s Identity Protection offers a simple way for you to see what accounts you have online, the data you’ve shared, and what personal information might leave you exposed – it’s all in one simple place. They send alerts each time they detect a data breach, monitor your bank accounts and credit cards, and protect your identity from hackers on the dark web. Obviously, this is a lifeline for someone like me who is very active online. It’s naive to think that if you’re not that active you have nothing to worry about. Everyone from toddlers to seniors are vulnerable to identity theft. You don’t need to have a YouTube channel or post to social media a lot of have your data stolen. 

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With quarantine still in full swing (or at least in a pretty decent sized swing) around most of the country, our digital lives are more important than ever, and the internet should be a safe place for us to spend this time. We want to be able to FaceTime with grandma, buy that cute new loungewear set, order from our favorite takeout place from their app, and post our whipped coffee to Instagram. For that reason, Allstate is offering free Identity Protection for the rest of 2020 if you sign up by the end of May. How cool is that! I love seeing how so many companies have stepped up to do the right thing and offer support to their customers in these times of need. Honestly, this is such a great service. 

With everything going on right now in the world and as unsteady as it sometimes can feel, there is peace in the fact that my digital identity and yours are not something we have to worry about. 

For those of you interested in learning more about protecting your digital identity, this article is really helpful., 

This post was written as part of the Allstate Influencer Program and sponsored by Allstate. All opinions are mine. As the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, Allstate is dedicated not only to protecting what matters most–but to guiding people to live the Good Life, every day.