If the whole concept of internet security annoys you, you might think that the best way to deal it is to ignore it. You can leave your computer turned off, never use your cell phone for internet browsing, and that will be that. Right?

Nope. Think of it this way. Suppose you inherited a parcel of land in a faraway state. You never wanted this piece of land, so you ignore it. What do think is going to happen?

Several bad things, that’s what. Squatters could take over the land and terrorize the neighbors with drug dealing, all-night parties, and bonfires that threaten to set the entire neighborhood on fire. This could lead to lawsuits against you, since the incidents happened on your neglected land. You’ll also be liable for taxes on the land, which will eventually affect your credit score if you don’t pay them.

Thanks for the abandoned land for our bonfire party! The neighbors didn’t like it, but that’s not our problem.

What does this have to do with the internet? You own a piece of the internet, whether you like it or not. Information about you–your address, phone number, previous addresses, your business–are on the internet through search services like the online White Pages. If you don’t claim them, others can.

This means someone can try and pretend to be you, and can create all kinds of problems for you.

Examples:

  • You already “own” an online link to your bank account. If you don’t claim it, someone else can, and then they’ll have access to your funds.
  • If you own a business, you “own” the social media pages about it, like the ones on Facebook and Yelp. If you don’t claim them, someone else can do so, and can fill it with misinformation.

Own your piece of the internet! Claim your bank account and your business pages, and stay safe from these dangers.