It seems that every day there is a new data breach being reported. Thieves and hackers have gotten very good at finding vulnerabilities to exploit to gain access to people’s bank accounts and more.
If they are so good, is there anything that you and I can do about it? After all, they are professionals and we are not.
There are many ways that you can ensure that your data and privacy remain intact online and from your devices.
You don’t have to be familiar with cutting edge tech to be able to keep your data safe. Just use these tips and your chances of getting hacked become very small.
1 – Use strong passwords
The easiest way to protect yourself is to use strong passwords, especially on your smartphone. Instead of coming up with your own, use a password generator to keep it random.
It also pays to use a different password across all of your devices and logins. If one of your passwords is hacked then the hacker will attempt to access things like online bank accounts using the same password. Most times they will be successful since people like to use one, easy to remember passwords.
Change the password often so there is less of a chance that it can be hacked.
2 – Wipe your old devices
It is a great idea to donate old devices and recycle them so the metals used in them don’t need to be mined to make new ones. The problem with this is that just deleting a hard drive doesn’t mean the data is gone. You need to use data destruction.
Destructing data is different than deleting it. Data destruction makes any data that was on the disc completely irretrievable. It takes a professional to do this so you’ll need to use a service that provides it.
3 – Use a VPN
Open wifi networks are the prime target of data thieves. If you are using the wifi in your favorite coffee shop, then there is a good chance that all your online moves are being eavesdropped on.
Using a VPN will hide your location and private information by using a different server than the one the public network is using.
It stands for Virtual Private Network, so it’s like having your own server. It isn’t foolproof, but does add a layer of security. Also, make sure it is a trusted VPN so you aren’t sharing your data with the company themselves.
4 – Lock your apps
If your phone is stolen and thieves are still able to get past the lock screen, then they have free roam over everything on your phone.
You can slow them down by using locks for the apps themselves. It’s just a lock screen that requires a password to access the app.
Most people don’t do this because it takes a few seconds extra to use the app. If you value your privacy and have some very sensitive information on your apps then you won’t mind spending the extra time. This is especially helpful if you use an online banking app or credit card members area.