From the recent Facebook data breach to compromised customer information at huge companies like FedEx and Delta, private security is more relevant than ever.
In actuality, it might 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. Quit sending sensitive information digitally.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but many people email tax records to their accountant, or text a password to a relative in a pinch.
2. Beware of public Wi-Fi.
Anything 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 are 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 recipient see messages.
If you don’t, you could be at risk for malware, viruses and cybercrime attacks. Ensure that your operating system and applications are updated – many devices do so automatically.
Secure your wireless network with a password so nobody can jump onto your Wi-Fi network and steal info.
6. Be cautious of clever email scammers.
Today’s phishing emails can have hyperlinks that lead to realistic-looking websites. Never give out passwords or other sensitive information by email, phone or text unless you’re sure that you’re speaking to the real organization.
7. Lock down your laptop.
Ensure that your laptop requires a password when it boots up. That way, if it gets stolen or prying eyes attempt to access your device, they will be stopped before they start.
8. Wipe out info.
If it’s time for a new laptop or smartphone, make sure that your data isn’t hanging around. Once you’ve backed up any information you need, use a software program to permanently erase your hard drive.
9. Choose security questions sensibly.
Avoid using common words in your passwords. Period. Google estimated somebody would have a 19.7% success rate replying “pizza” to “What is your favourite food? Customize questions or pick harder ones to guess.
10. Avoid sites that aren’t https.
Https stands for “hypertext transfer protocol with secure socket layer” (otherwise known as having a SSL certificate.) Sites without an “s” on the end aren’t secure if you are being asked to make a purchase or submit private/sensitive information that could get intercepted.
11. Focus on privacy settings.
Pick who will see the content you post on sites like Facebook and Instagram, and who can see your profile.
Opt for the highest level of privacy possible but be aware 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!
If your device gets stolen or compromised, what happens to this work report or your niece’s baby photos? Schedule automatic backups through your operating system or a cloud support.
While even the largest and brightest companies can be hacked or otherwise attacked, these online security tips can help you reduce some of the risks.
Also, if you’re hiring a web professional programmer to help with your business, make sure they’re well-aware of present security difficulties. We build sites with our clients’ security in mind and carry out regular security updates for ongoing peace of mind.