As technology continues its inevitable march onwards, the ways that hackers can come after your personal data are multiplying.
While it can be frightening to know that cybersecurity breaches are on the rise, the good news is that 95% of these breaches are due to human error. That means that with some basic precautions, you can shield your data from the vast majority of attacks.
Read on to learn what you need to do to keep your data safe!
Play a Strong Password Game
People have a lot of misconceptions about hacking. They picture someone doing something on a computer that somehow gives them access to other people’s accounts. While this is possible to do, it is extremely costly.
The truth is, most hackers don’t bother with that kind of attack, because they don’t need to! People are sloppy and loose with their passwords. That means that hackers’ easiest way into your accounts is through the openings you leave in your password game.
First, it’s important to use strong passwords. Here, people again have misconceptions. The best way to make a password hard to break is by making it longer, not by making it more complicated.
A password like “walkingthroughtheforest” is extremely hard to break, yet extremely easy to remember! Give yourself a break and find a password you can easily remember, but that is long enough to provide great protection.
Another common problem is that people use the same password for all of their accounts. That means that if someone gets access to one of your accounts, they can then access all of your accounts.
People are instinctively more careful with their “serious” accounts like their work email or their online bank. However, none of that caution is of any use if they use the same password for a silly game account that someone gains access to.
One solution is to use different passwords for every account you use. We often underestimate how many services we actually use, though. Remembering dozens of unique passwords can be next to impossible.
To avoid this, it can help to have one password that you use for non-serious accounts. These can include game sites or cooking website accounts or other similar accounts. It’s important to realize that these accounts will be susceptible to hackers breaking in, so you have to be sure that you only use this password for accounts that you don’t mind people gaining access to.
If you do end up using many unique passwords, then using the technique we discussed earlier can help. Passwords that are long, but easy to remember, can help you remember more unique passwords.
How to Safely Write Down Passwords
Ultimately, however, you’ll probably end up having to write some passwords down. The problem is, other people can read what you write down! How can you secure your data if it’s written down?
Writing passwords down on physical paper and hiding your notes somewhere has some advantages. No one will be able to read them unless they physically go to your office or home to find them. However, if they do so, then it’s only a matter of time before they discover all of your passwords.
On the other hand, you can try an online password manager. The problem with writing your passwords down online is that people can try to break into your password manager from anywhere in the world. that’s why it’s essential that your password manager be the most secure tool you use.
Companies have created power encryption and other safety tools to secure your data. As long as you find a strong password manager rather than just write your passwords down anywhere on your phone or computer, it can be a great way to protect your personal information.
Keep Your Software Up to Date
Companies invest billions of dollars into making sure that their products are safe from hackers. When you want to keep your data safe, the best way is to rely on the incredible resources that companies have poured into data safety.
Whenever a flaw is discovered in an operating system or an internet tool, the company in charge will find a way to fix it. They will then release the fix as an update so that all of their users can enjoy this upgraded safety.
None of that work will protect your data if you don’t install the update! Take the time to go through your various accounts and make sure that you have the latest version of all of them. Using an outdated system can leave your data vulnerable to attack.
As you check on your operating system and online tools, also make a note of which programs automatically update. If there are any tools that don’t automatically update, you’ll need to remember to check on them regularly to make sure that you manually apply any updates they come out with.
It can be hard to remember to take such precautions. That’s especially true because taking these precautions means you probably won’t suffer any data safety problems! However, you can only avoid data vulnerability by taking these precautions.
To make sure you remember to update any tech tools that don’t automatically update, write down which ones you need to manually update. Set yourself a recurrent reminder on your phone or calendar so that you remember to check all of the tools you’ve written down. Once you’re used to doing so, it will probably only take you five minutes or less to check each time.
Avoid Leaving Online Footprints
If you want to know how to protect your information online, it’s important to understand that websites track you when you visit them. Learning to delete recent searches can both keep you from leaving footprints online, and keep websites from leaving cookies on your computer to track you.
Keep Your Data Safe
We hope you learned something helpful about keeping your data safe from cyberattacks. To stay up to date on the latest in tech, business, lifestyle, and more, check out our other pages.