These days protecting yourself is essential. The threat of identity theft is a real and present danger. But it’s not all dark alleys and scam stories. You can protect yourself by following some simple, and for the most part, common sense procedures while online.
The first and most vital step, is to fortify your passwords! A bad, easy to guess password is the weakest link in your security chain. For information on choosing a good secure password, see our previous post -> How To Create Secure Passwords.
Most major online services (Google, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) allow you to only connect to their servers via an HTTPS connection. This will encrypt any stream of data between you and the service, ensuring that anyone using a packet sniffer on a Wi-Fi network wont see your login info. Never work at a public wifi connection without it.
Activate the option of 2-step authentication on your Google and Facebook accounts. It adds the protection of having to enter a secondary pin number which is randomly generated, then sent (texted) to your phone. Yes it will be a pain anytime you’re completely logged out, but totally worth it for the security it pretty much guarantees.
Put passwords on your devices. Even if you’re not prone to losing your phone or laptop, it’s good to keep a password or PIN on them since you probably use desktop clients and have websites that you’re perpetually logged into from your mobile device. It’s easy to lose things or set them down somewhere and forget to grab them when you leave. Don’t make it easy for someone to access your information!
Arguably one of the most important habits to cultivate, is to keep an offline backup! Everybody loves the cloud because its so easy and convenient, but the truth is the cloud is vulnerable also! Now a days backing up data is a fairly simple process, so our recommendation is to invest in an external hard drive and make a habit of backing everything up at least once a week. That way if the worst does happen, you at least don’t have to start back at square one.
Following the above tips and a little bit of due diligence and your online identity can be safe and secure from predators who would abuse your information. Have more questions? Stop by, call, or drop us a line! We’ll always ready to help you make your computing experience easier!
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