The security of personal information is critically important to everyone. An unavoidable feature of modern life is that we must interact with businesses and other organizations with a legitimate need to keep track of personal information. Unfortunately, there are always those who seek to illegally gain access to that information online. However, there are some steps you can take to protect your personal information and identity as you interact with online websites.
One of the main ways that those who seek to illegally gain access to your information is to use what are known as "phishing" emails to trick you into providing your username and password. If you learn how to recognize phishing emails, you can delete them and not be fooled into providing your information. Another way to protect yourself is to encrypt the device that your data is stored on.
Below are organizations which offer online information safety guidelines from a variety of different perspectives.
USA.gov - Prevent and Report Identity Theft guide from the United States government.
FDIC - Identity Theft prevention information from the organization whose charge is to promote public confidence in the U.S. financial system.
Microsoft Safety and Security Center - Protect Your Privacy On the Internet guide from a trusted business source.
Stay Safe Online - Guide on ID Theft, Fraud and Cybercrime from a non-profit organization focused on online safety.