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11 tips for better online security

The data breach news this week was terrible, as usual.  

A company that works with many law enforcement agencies to track billions of photos through facial recognition got hacked really badly. It had its client list stolen.

A judge on ABC’s Shark Tank is out nearly $400,000 after her assistant fell victim to a “phishing” scam.

PayPal, the payment app used by millions, was discovered to have a bug that led to (now fixed) unauthorized transactions.

And on and on it went.

Meanwhile, I spent two days this week talking to security professionals at the RSA Conference in San Francisco, where much of the activity focused on how to avoid getting hacked.

In response, I came up with my own 11-point plan to better protect myself against identity theft.

Will it work? Who knows. Is it better than doing nothing? Absolutely. 

1. No hotel, coffee shop, airport Wi-FI

That’s a given, right? We know how easy it is to hack into them. If you’re looking up the price of a hotel room or reading the latest news from USA TODAY, then obviously free Wi-Fi is OK, but not for important stuff like banking. Unless you add in option No. 3. (See below.)

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