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Own Your Online Presence

Be vigilant to secure your personal information from  people who want to steal and use it!

The things you do online make an impact offline. Everything, from what you post on social media and your browsing habits, to the information organizations collect about you leaves a digital footprint. Own your online presence by actively managing who sees the things you post online and with whom you share information. The following tips will help you create a strong and positive online reputation and protect your personal information.

Lock down your login.

Use strong, unique passwords on every account and NEVER use your WVU Login credentials for personal sites. Use two-factor authentication when available to verify your identity when you login. Find out more about how to Lock Down Your Login.

Be privacy aware on social media.

Social media is intended to be fun but take some precautions to ensure that your privacy isn't being put at risk. Actively manage your privacy settings for all social media sites. Don't feel pressure to "complete your profile." Information like your birthday, phone number, and where you live or work can be used to reset your password and access your accounts. Stay aware of posts and pictures on which you are tagged. Periodically review the third-party apps that you have authorized to access your account and de-authorize those that no longer need access. Know how to identify cyberstalking. Find out more information about being privacy aware.

Shop safe online.

Be cautions when shopping online. Use only secure sites that feature the green lock icon and https:// in the web address. Credit cards are generally the safest payment option and offer protections that debit cards don't. NEVER give your credit card information to anyone via email or save to your hard drive. Be skeptical with suspicious-looking emails, even those claiming to come from a well-known company or shipping service. Phishing scams aimed at stealing your information are often cleverly designed. Don't click on email attachments or links without verifying the company's website is legitimate.

Limit public Wi-Fi use.

Limit the type of business you conduct over public wireless connections (paid or free), especially logging into email and banking accounts. NEVER send personal or credit card information when using public Wi-Fi. If you must use open Wi-Fi, connect to a virtual private network (VPN) first.

Travel safely with tech.

Traveling with devices can mean increased risk for keeping your personal data private. If possible, leave your device(s) at home and use loaners when traveling at home or abroad. Use a clean machine that only includes the files and applications you will need while traveling. Always maintain control of your devices and apply security settings that will not allow someone other than you to use them if you lose them. Apply full disk encryption and DO NOT take the keys/recovery disks with you. Change any passwords that you expect to use while traveling and change them again upon return. Log out of browsers and apps and remove any saved login credentials to access your accounts online. Disable Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth when not in use.  

Consider purchasing identity fraud protection.

Voluntary identity fraud protection is available to both University students and employees that includes credit monitoring, a monthly credit score, an annual credit report, and a service to make replacing the contents of a wallet quick and easy. Learn more about how to identify and report identity theft.