This is the age of technology. Advances continue at a rapid pace on what may seem like a daily basis. It’s a time when everything is going digital. You can go online for almost everything. Do your shopping, work from home, pay bills, and stream entertainment. It’s fast, convenient, and cost-effective. However, it also leaves you open to a breach in security, putting your personal information at risk. Identity theft and financial damages can turn your world upside down. Take three tips to protect your digital information.
Be Cautious with Passwords and Other Personal Information
Being vigilant about your passwords is your first line of defense. You should not use the same password for all of your accounts. Avoid using birthdays or names of family members that are easier to hack. Be creative, using symbols and numbers to make your password more complicated. Passwords should be kept private. If you do share them with anyone, it should only be someone who has your complete trust. Keep your passwords in a safe place that is separate from your computer or mobile device.
Protect Your Data
Protecting your personal information should be a priority. You can begin with an excellent virus protection plan on your computer, laptop, or tablet. Consider choosing a higher level of protection with an IT company that offers strong patch management software to support your business. You should also invest in encryption software. This product is designed to provide you with an additional sense of security as it encrypts, or scrambles, your personal data before it is transmitted to an online location. Don’t send any payments, make orders, or check bank information until you are positive your browser is secure. Keep an eye out for the lock icon, a small symbol in the browser that looks like a lock. It indicates that you are on a site that has encryption protection.
Beware of Impostors
Scam artists are at the ready to take advantage of the digital age. It’s easier now more than ever before to get a hold of personal information from unsuspecting prey. One area that many people overlook is social media. If you use social media platforms, don’t share too much about yourself, such as the names of your family members, the names of your pets, your birthday, and your address. Hackers may be able to piece together enough about you to break into your accounts. Never carry your social security number with you or give it out to anyone. Shred bills and bank statements at home to keep your information out of the wrong hands. Don’t open any emails that look suspicious, such as those that say your accounts have been breached or access to your accounts has been limited. Study the address or the information about the sender. Look for spelling errors. If you receive texts suggesting you have had a security breach, don’t click on any links. If you have any doubt, call your bank or credit card company directly to find out if your email was legitimate. Don’t answer unfamiliar phone numbers when you have called, even if they look like a local number. If you do answer a call, never give out any of your private information, such as your birthday, social security number, or any account numbers. Otherwise, you could be opening the door to let a scam artist have access to your credit card or bank accounts.
You can never be too cautious about your digital information. You can use common sense to give yourself an added layer of protection. Lock your cellphone with a password. You can do the same with your computer, tablet, or laptop. Take advantage of two-step authentication which requires additional information from you before you have access to your own accounts. In most cases, you can receive a text with a verification code. Phone calls or emails are also an option. Get in the practice of changing your passwords periodically, even for your social media accounts. Monitor your account statements regularly to look for any unfamiliar charges or discrepancies in balances. The digital age is convenient and makes your life easier, allowing you to do everything from the comfort of your own home or when you are on the go. Always take precautions that can help you to enjoy it.