Vital Ways to Protect Your Personal Data
Personal information is very valuable. While most people think of security as adding an alarm system to their homes, one of the most vulnerable – and valuable – components of personal property is personal information. With personal information, criminals can hack into your bank accounts, steal your identity, and leave a trail of destruction that can take many years to restore. Maintaining security of personal information is just as important as locking up your home and maintaining your alarm system. Here are some simple but effective ways to keep your information safe:
1) Use Smart Passwords
Many people fall into the habit of using the same password for everything. It's easier to remember it that way, but it won't be worth it when a criminal is granted access to every single one of your personal accounts. Try to make passwords that are obscure and difficult to guess. Have a different set of passwords for personal and work accounts. It's also a good idea to keep a password for social media different from the one you use for personal information accounts. Change them periodically and make sure even an acquaintance wouldn’t be able to guess them.
2) Keep Electronics Secure
Simply creating a screen-lock password to your tablet, phone, and laptop is not enough to keep your information secure. If your devices are stolen, a seasoned criminal will easily be able access them without even unlocking the screen to steal your information. Public WiFi connections are easily hacked for private information, as are links left unsecured on your social media accounts. People sitting in the same coffee shop could be looking for someone to target. Acceptance of that mysterious friend request can lead to disaster. To safeguard your information, leave bill-paying account-checking for your at-home to-do list. Instead of leaving your electronics where they can be seen on the seat of your car or open on your desk at home, lock them away or take them with you wherever you go.
3) Be Careful about Sharing Information Online
In this age of information and social media, it's an all-too common problem to not know where to stop when it comes to sharing personal information on the internet. Everyone wants to cultivate an online presence to enhance business success, establish networking connections, and to share their lives with distant relatives and friends. Whenever possible, avoid sharing private information through social media, email, text, and any other medium that can leave your personal data vulnerable to theft.
It’s never too soon to start being more careful about how you share information with the world. While most people may seem trustworthy, you never know how your information might end up in the wrong hands. That’s a risk you shouldn’t take. Using the tips listed above, start safeguarding your information today.