Often, you would mistakenly assume that your personal data is secure as long as you do not reveal it to anyone. However, this could not be any further from the truth. With the multitude of tracking programmes and software available, it is undeniable that our online activities and information have never been secret. Over time, hackers have also become increasingly adept at bypassing security programmes. This can be done by utilising the abundance of personal data and information available for illegal means. While you may not necessarily be a tech-savvy person, here are four simple measures which you could take.
(1) Creating stronger passwords
One simple yet effective way to protect your personal data would be to strengthen your passwords. It is appalling that there are still some who are bold enough to use passwords such as “password123” in an attempt to protect their private data. Instead of using such passwords which are not entirely difficult to guess, utilise “passphrases” which consist of symbols, alphabets, as well as numbers to boost the strength of your accounts. This could be adapted from anywhere such as a favourite quote, book or even an incident which happened recently. In addition, do not reuse your passwords across different accounts. Once the integrity of a single password has been compromised, hackers would likely experiment with the same password for your other accounts.
(2) Encrypting your data
Encryption used to be regarded as an extremely sophisticated task. However, much has changed over the years. Several tools are now easily available, allowing the average person to encrypt files and information with relative ease. For steps on how to encrypt files and folders on your personal computer, click here. In addition, all Intel-CPO versions of Apple’s computer operating system, Mac OSX, come equipped with FileVault, a programme that encrypts the hard drive of a computer which aids in the safeguarding of your files.
(3) Rethink your web-browsing methods
The lure of easy access to the latest media and information, often renders us oblivious to the potential security threats. Every now and then, browser updates are available. These updates help us to plug security holes that have been recently uncovered. While it may be tempting to simply ignore these updates, it is crucial to always keep your browser updated if you wish to keep unwanted intruders at bay. Reviewing the privacy and security settings of your web browser can also go a long way in protecting your personal information. The boxes in the settings of your browser which are checked or unchecked should be something which you are comfortable with. For example, options such as the browser automatically blocking third-party cookie should be turned on.
(4) Exercise caution when utilising wireless services
It is unsurprising for many of us to leave wireless services such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth turned on even when not using our electronic devices. However, doing so makes you much more susceptible to numerous security threats. For example, Blueborne is an attack vector which hackers can leverage on to gain unauthorised access to one’s personal information if your Bluetooth is left turned on. The same goes for the use of Wi-Fi in public areas. When browsing the internet, ensure that you utilise encrypted connections like HTTPS rather than its unencrypted counterpart, HTTP. You could easily do so by following these simple steps here. Programmes such as Firesheep allow strangers to spy on your online activities without your consent on sites that do not use encryption.
These are a few easy steps which you can take right now. Adhering to them may eventually prove to go a long way in keeping your personal information safe.