The internet is a big part of life today. From reading the news and working remotely to staying in contact with family and loved ones, it is nearly impossible to go a day without going online. However, a recent Canadian report suggests a disturbing increase in identity theft, so just as you secure your home against break-ins, it can be useful to do the same online. Below are a few simple ways to prevent personal information from falling into the wrong hands.
- Avoid sharing too much
Since social media platforms make it simple to share your views and personal content, such as pictures and videos, it is easy to overshare. Individuals who regularly engage in online surveys and quizzes will be surprised by how much information the internet has on them. Criminals could pose as friends and take over your account via simple private conversation. Aside from thinking through before sharing too much online, consider disabling sharing features on social apps and managing your Google privacy.
- Create strong and unique passwords
Using strong passwords has proven to be one of the most effective ways to keep your personal data from theft and criminals. Consider adding passcodes or passwords to all your gadgets, not forgetting your guest accounts. Set your devices to auto-lock since hackers can still gain entry into accounts with the most robust passwords. For instance, ensure your device requires reentering your passwords as soon as possible once you turn off your device or switch on the screen.
You can also use facial recognition or fingerprint authentication instead of passwords. It can be useful to use a password manager if you have multiple accounts. You can also turn on the two-factor authentication on your accounts to prevent unauthorized entry when you mistakenly share your password.
- Be wary of public Wi-Fi
Free public Wi-Fi is the go-to for many people since it is easy to connect to and relatively fast. However, it offers so little when it comes to your safety. It is easy for other people to access and steal your data once you are connected to the same network. Using public Wi-Fi to browse the internet is okay, but avoid using online shopping websites or platforms that require entering your login and financial credentials and any other sensitive information. If you must, get a VPN to scramble your personal data and render it useless without the right encryption key.
- Uninstall idle mobile apps
Stay wary of any app or program on your devices for your privacy and security. You will be less vulnerable when you stick to fewer accounts. And aside from this, ensure to download apps from only trusted sources such as Google Playstore or App Store on Mac. Using unofficial sources to get premium apps for free can be tempting. But some of these developers make money by stealing private information. Therefore delete any apps or software you no longer use or require regularly, including those on your smartphone and browser extension, since some can be active while staying hidden.
- Update your operating system
Hackers are constantly looking for flaws to exploit. Therefore, any vulnerabilities in your operating system and software are good news to them. Fortunately, software developers provide updates and patches to fix any vulnerabilities in their system and make it much safer. By updating your operating systems, hackers will have to start repeatedly to find new vulnerabilities. Updating your system with a new operating system might take up more space on your device, so it can be useful to learn how to keep your system clean from old data. Here is the info you need if you are looking for ways to free up system data storage on your Mac.
- Embrace data encryption
You are mistaken if you believe your computer data, messages and emails are secure. Even with the most secured computer logins, a cybercriminal may take your hard drive and connect with another machine to access all your data. This makes it useful to safeguard the data you have on your computer. You can start by enabling data encryption to make your data useless to anybody without your password. Fortunately, many modern devices have this feature by default, so you simply have to turn it on. And also, remember to delete the device data and reset it before giving away or selling your device.
- Clear your cache
You cannot downplay how much information your browser cache has on you. Your website history and saved cookies could reveal your home address, family and personal information. This makes it advisable to regularly delete your browser history and cookies to secure your data from any person who might be lurking in there. However, not that deleting cookies might cause issues on some websites. For instance, you could lose the personalization you have applied on some websites.
- Back up your data
Data backup is often ignored but remains critical to your online security. Accidents can happen regardless of how much you invest in protecting your data. Fortunately, regular backups may keep your essential information secure. However, you may still be at risk if you maintain your backup in the same place as your primary data. Experts suggest backing up your data to the cloud instead of the physical locations. This way, you can retrieve your cloud data to a different location in case your devices are compromised.
- Consider additional security
Installing anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewall software is always recommended to protect your data. For further security, consider purchasing cyber insurance to cover you and your family in the event of a cyberattack. Personal cyber insurance, for instance, can assist you in recovering from any attack, whether a breach, extorting or bullying and support your family with the needed resources to recover.
Criminals continually look for possible security flaws in computers, social media accounts and websites. So it is critical to learn the best ways to secure your data online. The above are a few ways to do so.