Today, we live in a world that is full of devices and technology, and you know how technology grows faster than we can handle. With each new day, new software and devices come into our lives, we absolutely need to practice digital safety. Needless to say, there is a great potential for cyberattacks. We are all human, it’s only natural to make mistakes.
While technology makes life easier, it also gives outside sources the ability to collect information on your digital footprint. While we have come across articles on how some of this data collection can be used, who has the time to read through all these long posts? This is why we decided to create a short, yet comprehensive, list of safety practices that you can use to help keep your personal data safe.
Use complex passwords with a secure password generator
While you can use a simple password for your online accounts, it’s best to use more complex passwords. That way, if someone does manage to guess your password by guessing all the likely options (like your birthday, address, etc.), they won’t be able to access all of your accounts. Additionally, it’s important that you don’t reuse the same password across multiple websites—that way, if one site is compromised and has its user database leaked (which often happens), other services aren’t also affected.
To create secure passwords that are difficult for hackers or scammers to guess, we recommend using a secure password generator. This tool will generate random alphanumeric strings with no repetition between words so that even if someone guesses some letters in each word of your password string—the last part will still be difficult enough for them, not just because they’d have difficulty finding out what those words were but also because they’d have trouble identifying any patterns within them (e.g., an “m” followed by an “e”).
Make your online accounts more secure by turning on two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a process that requires two things to log in: your password and something you have or are. Two factors are generally considered the best way to keep any account secure because it’s harder for hackers to steal information from your accounts if they don’t have access to either one.
A code generator will send you an SMS message with a unique six-digit code every time you try to log into your account from a new device, which makes it much harder for someone else looking over your shoulder at the coffee shop or using keylogging software on your computer at home to gain entry. If someone gets hold of both pieces of information and tries logging in without authorization, they won’t be able to get through without having access to your phone, too—not exactly an easy feat!
Two-factor authentication can also help prevent phishing attacks and other attempts at identity theft by requiring consumers who want their money back after fraud occurs to prove that they own their bank accounts before handing over funds.
Monitor your digital footprint
It’s never too late to start cleaning up your online image. Use Google Alerts or another search engine tool to monitor what comes up when people search for your name. Be sure to monitor your digital footprint by keeping tabs on how you are perceived on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, and what information you leave behind.
If you find something that needs changing, take action immediately (e.g., deleting inappropriate content). If there’s nothing wrong with the information, but you want more control over how it appears in search results, consider creating a new account with an alternate name or even registering an entirely new email address through an email provider that doesn’t include your name (e.g., Gmail).
Protect your personal data by avoiding public Wi-Fi networks
Avoiding public Wi-Fi is one of the simplest ways to protect your personal data. Public Wi-Fi—like the kind you might use in a coffee shop or at an airport—can expose you to hackers who may be able to steal your information. So it’s best not to log into any sensitive accounts on public networks:
- Don’t use public Wi-Fi for logging into your bank account or other sensitive accounts
- Don’t use public Wi-Fi for signing in to email
- Avoid logging in through social media networks when using public networks
I hope these tips have taught you the importance of being aware of your digital footprint, and what to do if you want to protect it. We believe that safe online habits can make all the difference in keeping your data and identity secure, and we hope this article has shown you why.
It’s true that there are plenty of smart hacks out there (like two-factor authentication) as well as companies dedicated to protecting users, but ultimately our best protection against cyberattacks comes from ourselves: from having healthy digital habits in place. So go forth into cyberspace knowing that by staying vigilant about how much information you share online and who sees it—that is, by making a conscious effort not to overshare—you’ll become more mindful about your own safety too!