With the prevalence of online banking, credit card fraud, and identity theft in today’s digital world, our personal information is more valuable than ever. In fact, according to a recent survey, 92% of Americans are concerned about their privacy when using the Internet. It’s important to stay aware of how to protect yourself and secure your personal information. However, the thought of keeping all of your data secure can seem overwhelming. The good news is that there are a few simple steps you can take to ensure your data stays secure. Let’s chat about these steps you can take to ensure the security of your personal information.
1) Keep Your Passwords Safe
When it comes to managing and securing your personal information, one of the most important things you can do is keep your passwords safe. The best way to ensure that your passwords are secure is to make them long, random, and unique. This means that they should be at least 10 characters long, and made up of a mix of letters (both uppercase and lowercase), numbers, and special characters. You can also see more ways to secure a password published by CISA.
It’s also important that your passwords are different for each account or website. While the thought of this may seem extreme, doing this will help minimize the risk of a larger breach. If you are using the same user name and password for your bank account that you are your email, then you have given a hacker access to both of these accounts. Using unique username and password combinations helps ensure that way if a hacker gets access to one password, they won’t have access to all of your accounts.
To help you remember all your different passwords, you can use a password manager. A password manager is a piece of software that helps you store, manage, and generate unique passwords for all your accounts. They are very secure and they will save you a lot of time because you won’t have to remember all your different passwords.
2) Don’t Share Too Much on Social Media
Social media can be an amazing way to stay connected with family and friends. You can even use it to keep up on the latest news. But when it comes to protecting your personal information, it’s important to be aware of the risks.
When you publicly share birthdays, anniversaries, addresses or other personal information on social media, you could be making yourself vulnerable to hackers and identity thieves. Even if you think you know who you’re sharing with, consider the potential for cyber criminals and fraudsters who may be lurking in the shadows.
Keep your private information safe by double-checking all settings and reviewing your profile regularly to make sure there is no personally identifiable information (PII) available. Also, be wary of clicking links that appear to come from friends, as they could potentially be malicious.
Finally, avoid posting photos of documents like licenses, passports or bank statements online. The more of your personal information you share, the higher the risk that someone will gain access to it. Be mindful of what you post and always err on the side of caution.
For more tips on how to keep your data secure on social media, check out this article by Stay Safe Online.
3) Be Careful What You Click
It is important to pay attention to the websites and links you visit online. While it is tempting to click on flashy ads or suspicious links, this can be dangerous. It’s important to use common sense when it comes to clicking on websites or links that you don’t know much about.
When it comes to clicking, it’s best to only click on sites that have been recommended to you or that you have looked up yourself. For example, if a friend sends you a link to a website, double check the website before clicking. Even though your friend might have good intentions, the website might still be malicious.
Additionally, if you are presented with a pop-up ad or a message from an unknown source, be sure not to click on any links or buttons. It’s also important not to download files from unknown sources, as this can lead to malware or other malicious software being installed on your device.
In short, use caution when browsing the internet and clicking on websites or links. Pay attention to where your mouse is pointing, and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you aren’t sure what something is. By being careful what you click, you can help protect yourself and secure your personal information from malicious actors.
Don’t be overwhelmed
Don’t be overwhelmed by all the potential threats out there. Take the time to protect yourself and your data! Remember that a little effort goes a long way when it comes to safeguarding your information. By taking these simple steps, you can ensure that your personal information remains safe and secure.
If you’d like to read more about how to secure your personal information, check out some of our other blogs.