While you’re scrolling through your apps, it probably does not cross your mind that you’re being compromised by a hacker or that your data has been stolen.
Scams sound convincing, so even the smartest of people can fall for them if they’re well disguised. Scammers use the following strategies to gain access to personal data:
- Passwords being guessed
- Pretending to be the company you have an account with, for example, your bank
- Offering a deal you think is good, like a holiday
- We live in an era where technology plays a big role in our everyday lives, so knowing how to protect your data is important.
Use Strong Passwords
The best defense is to use a password that is hard to guess. You may even need to meet a fixed strength requirement on some websites.
- Lowercase and uppercase letters
Pet names are often used as passwords, but hackers are usually able to guess these with ease. If you don’t remember the words, try to come up with a random combination that you’ll remember.
When you are concerned about forgetting passwords, most browsers offer the option to save them. Don’t worry – it is completely safe to do this. Make sure you have your passwords entered properly.
Make sure that you do not use the same password for all your accounts so that if one account gets hacked, it affects all of them.
Don’t Fall For Scams
Phishers and scammers use a variety of techniques, including text messages, emails, and telephone calls, when tricking people. In some cases, they may replicate the logo of a company in a way that is very sophisticated.
Take note of odd-looking email and web addresses, incorrect spellings, and ambiguous URLs. Be wary of clicking links or attachments unless you are absolutely certain they are legitimate. No bank provider will ever ask for your bank account information through email.
Don’t be fooled by offers that seem too good to be true.
It is also a good idea to not answer suspicious phone calls. If you answer the phone and it sounds suspicious, hang up and block the number. It’s also possible to search phone numbers online to find out whether they’ve already been reported as scams by other people.
Monitor Your Bank Account
It’s good to keep track of your accounts yourself if you find out any unusual activity on them. Most banks will notify you immediately if they notice anything out of the ordinary.
Any unexplained transactions on your bank statement should be immediately reported to your bank’s fraud department.
If you are using a shared device, please log out after every session, and do not use the auto-fill feature for bank information.
Always Use Two-Factor Authentication
In some cases, websites ask for your bank account information before allowing you to complete a purchase. Adding an additional layer of protection to your accounts, two-factor authentication or two-step verification is known as this.
Many apps and websites offer the security feature, so it’s worth turning it on when it’s available.
Back-Up Your Data
Your personal information can be compromised if your devices are lost or stolen. Data backup is a good idea, and online storage services like iCloud, OneDrive, and Google Drive, as well as an external hard drive, can be used to do so. It’s worth having a look at how to delete duplicate photos on iPhone to make your data management of your photos easier.
Make Sure You Store Your Information Securely
Documents are sometimes physically copied, but they need to be stored somewhere safe, such as locked up in a drawer at home.
Unless absolutely necessary, do not carry important information around with you, such as proof of address to the bank.
Make sure that any documents you need to get rid of are properly destroyed by shredding them with a machine like a paper shredder.
Make Sure Websites Are Secure
If you are not sure if your browser is secure, look for a little padlock icon at the left-hand side of the search bar at the top of your browser window. It’s usually a good indication that you are safe visiting the website.
You can sometimes receive a warning message as a result of your web browser detecting a suspicious website and asking whether or not you want to proceed. Obviously, that does not imply that it is, but you should be careful before moving forward.
When you arrive at the site, you may also notice other signs of phishing that you should be aware of, like incorrect spelling or a change in the search bar at the top.
Keep Apps And Software Up To Date
To be able to detect any cyber-security threats on your devices, it is important to keep your anti-virus software up-to-date.
Furthermore, mobile apps regularly improve their cybersecurity, so you should always keep yours up to date. Using automatic updates is a simple way to make your life easier so that you do not have to remember to do it.
Always Log Out Of Shared Devices
Make sure you ensure your online accounts are logged out whenever you use any shared devices, whether it is at work or at the home of a trusted friend.
Take a moment to consider what you are sharing online
Being so connected to social media, we often broadcast our lives without considering the possible ramifications.
You should always think twice before you post anything personal in your social media accounts, even if they are set to private.
This article has hopefully provided some helpful tips to keep you safe online, but unfortunately, things can go wrong and it is possible for your personal information to be stolen. Usually, it will not be your fault, but it can be quite unnerving if it happens to you for no apparent reason.
This short guide should help you to get started with keeping your personal data safe and secure. Is there anything else that you to keep safe? Please share a few ideas in the comments below.