Monday, November 22, 2010

A Savvy Tip: Protect Your Online Identity

With the plethora of hot online coupons, contests, freebies and all the amazing online holiday shopping deals these days, online safety has never been more important!

When filling out registration forms including your name, address, phone number and email address have you ever worried about who has your information?  I have!  Yes, I know that if anyone tried hard enough they could get all your "digits" online, but I still feel like protecting myself when possible.

Here are 2 of my favorite ways to protect valuable personal information:

Create a FREE email account:

If you're worried about spam or even the occasional cyber stalker, consider creating your own free Gmail or Yahoo email account.  Make the email address name memorable like  Send ONLY your deal related emails there and you can worry less about getting hacked or spammed from your personal email address.

Create a FREE Google Voice #:

I hate putting my real phone number on registration forms.  Honestly, if you're entering a sweepstakes or other contest you'll have to put a legit phone # in order for someone to call you back.  If you fake a number on this one you can get disqualified to win or you might win and no one will be able to let you know - Ahhh!  You'll also have to enter a valid phone number when registering to shop at major retailers online.  There's a simple way around this dilemma - just choose a FREE Google Voice phone numberGoogle Voice gives you a single phone number that rings all of your phones, saves your voicemail online, and transcribes your voicemail to text for FREE (This is FREE text messages folks.  Reply via email and Google Voice will transcribe to SMS!). Other cool features include the ability to  listen in on messages while they're being left, block unwanted callers, and make cheap international calls. I love using Google Voice and now I don't have to give out my real phone number.  You could even use this phone number on business cards and no one will ever have to know your home #!

It's worth setting up some free online protection services if you intend to do business online!  Watch for more online safety tutorials this week like Facebook and how to detect Scam websites! (Can you tell I'm excited for Cyber Monday!)

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