From the current Facebook data breach to compromised customer information at huge companies like FedEx and Delta, personal security is more applicable than ever.
In fact, it may even seem that our information is under attack!
While you can’t always prevent data security problems, here are 12 ways to help you protect yourself in this fast-moving digital age:
1. Stop sending sensitive information digitally.
This may look like a no-brainer, but lots of men and women email tax records to their accountant, or text a password to a relative in a pinch.
2. Beware of Wi-Fi.
Whatever you send in a coffee shop or airport could be intercepted by someone on the same network. Consider using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) when you’re out and about.
Whether you use a free program like WhatsApp or a paid Android or iOS solution, there are lots of end-to-end encryption options, ensuring only you and the receiver see messages.
4. Stay up to date.
If you do not, you could be at risk for malware, viruses and cybercrime attacks. Make sure your operating system and applications are upgraded – many devices do so automatically.
Secure your wireless network using a password so nobody can jump onto your Wi-Fi system and steal info.
6. Be cautious of smart email scammers.
Today’s phishing emails may have links that lead to realistic-looking websites. Never give out passwords or other sensitive info by email, phone or text unless you are sure that you’re speaking to the actual organization.
7. Lock down your laptop.
Ensure that your laptop needs a password as it boots up. This way, if it gets stolen or prying eyes try to get your device, they’ll be stopped before they start.
8. Wipe out info.
When it’s time for a new notebook or smartphone, make sure that your data isn’t hanging around. As soon as you’ve backed up any data you need, use a software application to permanently erase your hard disk.
9. Choose security questions sensibly.
Avoid using common words in your passwords. Period. Google estimated somebody would have a 19.7% success rate answering “pizza” to “What’s your favourite food? Customize questions or pick harder ones to guess.
10. Avoid sites that aren’t https.
Websites without an “s” on the end aren’t secure if you’re being asked to make a purchase or submit private/sensitive information that could get intercepted.
11. Pay attention to privacy settings.
Pick who will see the content you post on sites like Facebook and Instagram, and who can see your profile.
Choose the maximum level of privacy possible but bear in mind that some settings will prevent potential clients from seeing your articles, so find a happy balance that won’t sacrifice your social networking marketing efforts!
12. Back up your data.
Schedule automatic backups by your operating system or a cloud service.
While even the biggest and brightest companies can be hacked or attacked, these online security tips may help you reduce some of the risks.
Also, if you’re selecting a web professional programmer to help with your organization, make sure they’re well-aware of present security issues. We build websites with our customers’ safety in mind and perform regular security updates for ongoing peace of mind.