Do you remember the days where all you needed was one password to feel safe and secure online? Perhaps your password was a loved one or a pet’s name, and you might have used the same password for all your accounts and never thought twice about it. Those were certainly easier times, but things have definitely changed nowadays. Today, everything is connected from refrigerators to smartphones and even light bulbs, and with the internet available at our fingertips 24/7, we’re hearing a lot more about data breaches than we used to. Because of this, it’s never been more important to protect your digital self. Here are some quick steps that you can take in a few minutes a day.
Check Your Own Information:
Have you ever Googled yourself? Entered your name or email address into Nuwber? If you haven’t then it’s probably about time that you did. Searching for yourself online will give you an idea of the information on you that’s out there and publicly available. You can see whether it’s information that you don’t mind being published, or maybe you’ll find details that you didn’t know could be found online. If you find information on yourself on Google that you don’t want there, you can request for them to be taken down.
Lock Down Social Media:
Most of us love posting updates about our lives to social media. Whether you’ve just got a new job, have been on a fantastic vacation, or welcomed a new child into your family, social networking sites like Facebook and Instagram are a great way to share news about it with your friends and show off photographs. However, hackers often use social media as a way of getting information about you – and you guessed it, if your password is your child’s name, they could use this information to eventually guess it and your online accounts could be compromised. So, make sure that your social media profiles are set to private and only connect with people you know so that you can control who does and doesn’t see your posts.
Use Strong Passwords:
Using your child’s name or your pet’s name for a password simply won’t cut it these days; it’s just too easy to guess. And most sites will require you to create a strong password when you sign up; usually, you’ll need to have a combination of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters. The best way to ensure that you use strong passwords is to use a password manager. Google randomly generates strong passwords for you when you sign up for online accounts; take advantage of this and use the handy feature to autofill it in the future, if you do not share your device with anybody else.
Keep Software Up to Date:
Whether you’re using a PC, laptop, tablet, or a smartphone, set software and app updates to automatic, so that you are always running the latest version. Running older versions means that they could be more susceptible to hackers and cybercriminals because they haven’t been able to patch any security weaknesses. Some software and app updates are faster or have a new look, but they often come in the form of security updates to combat new methods cybercriminals are using to hack your account. It goes without saying that antivirus software should always be kept up to date.
Doing these simple things will help protect your digital self and help you stay secure online.