Remember in the “good old days” when all you needed to worry about was making sure that you locked your doors at night? Things don’t necessarily work that way anymore. You and I both know that in this digital age, you need to keep tabs on a lot more than the deadbolt on your backdoor. Digital security is super important for your safety and privacy — but it can be incredibly difficult to monitor and manage. Luckily, I’ve rounded up some tips to help you improve your security and lock that digital deadbolt!
1. Use more than one password.
You’ve heard the warnings. And, if you’re anything like me, you tend to ignore them. But, it’s time to wise up and realize that it just isn’t smart to have the same password for everything. Just think — if your password gets into the wrong hands, an online criminal will attempt to enter this password anywhere they can. Do you really want them to have access to your email account, online banking, and Facebook page? Probably not.
2. Select strong passwords.
It’s important to use more than one password. But, make sure that you’re not sacrificing quality for quantity. Use capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters in order to make your password exceedingly difficult to crack. Most people know that they should do this — but it’s also advice that tends to be ignored. Do you want to know what the top two most popular passwords were in 2014? Number one was “123456”, and number two was “password”. Don’t be lazy — get creative with your passwords!
3. Back up frequently.
If you’ve ever had a nasty computer virus and lost the majority of your files and important documents, you know what a pain it can be! To save yourself a headache, make sure that you’re backing up your files frequently. Whether you want to use an external method or a cloud backup system, just make sure that you have a duplicate of everything you need!
4. Never give personal information to someone you don’t know.
This is pretty much Internet Security 101. But, never give personal information over the Internet to a person or website you feel suspicious of. Of course, if you love to online shop, you’ll frequently need to enter your name, address, and payment information. Before doing so, make sure you do your research to make sure that the website you’re using is legitimate. When entering payment information, check to ensure that there’s always an “https://” in front of the web address — which means that the site is secure.
5. Be paranoid about links.
Many computer viruses are spread via downloads and links. So, it pays to be extra paranoid whenever you’re using the Internet. Be extremely particular about every link you click while surfing the Internet. If you receive an email with links that are supposedly from your financial institution or something similar, don’t click anything within the email. Instead, visit your account directly or call a customer service representative to be on the safe side.
6. Know your rights.
You know all of those lengthy user agreements with all of the fine print that show up whenever you download or sign up for something? I bet you go through that entire document with a fine-tooth comb, right? Probably not. Keep in mind that you’re essentially agreeing to a legal contract when you click “I Accept”. So, you want to have at least an elementary understanding of your rights. Make sure you click through to at least catch all the main points and confirm that nothing jumps out at you. Nobody can expect you to read 72 pages of size two font. But, you don’t want to ignore it completely.
Digital security is undoubtedly a big concern today. Keep these tips and tricks in mind to keep your personal information locked down!
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