If you’re like many people, you probably think your personal information is secure. While there’s much to love about the internet, there’s equally much to worry about.
The new malware and cyberattacks daily target your online information, like passwords and account numbers. And there’s no better time to learn how to secure your devices, network, and information than NOW.
Here’s how to maintain security and protect your information online.
1. Stick to Fully-Regulated and Reputable Sites
You’re only safe if the online sites you visit are secure. Before landing on any page, do background checks to ensure it’s safe to browse.
In an era where smart cybercriminals create seemingly legitimate websites and embed dangerous malware, red flags of unsecured websites include:
- URL with HTTP instead of HTTPS
- No lock icon on the window of the browser
For instance, if you’re a poker enthusiast, stick to poker rooms fully licensed and regulated by reputable gaming authorities like MGA, UKGC, and Curacao. This ensures your privacy and sensitive data, keeping your information secure.
You can make playing poker on secure websites more fun by learning the importance of position in poker. This will help you strategize each hand and increase your chances of winning cash prizes.
2. Read and Understand Privacy Policies
Reading and understanding the privacy policies helps you make informed decisions about your privacy online. You become aware of how and why your sites and services might utilize your data.
You might be surprised to learn that many companies use the information we share on their sites in ways we might not willingly agree with.
3. Use a Password Manager
DOES THAT SOUND LIKE YOU when I say I use the same password for multiple accounts? But honestly, that’s not the best idea as it puts your information at risk of breach.
Instead, you can use a password manager—software that can create and store unique and secure passwords for your multiple accounts in one place.
Password managers use encryption to keep your sensitive information locked down. And investing in premium password managers enables you to be safe online.
4. Beware of Phishing Scams
Phishing scams are the most prevalent method cybercriminals use to violate our digital privacy and steal, alter, or damage our information.
But what is phishing? A phishing scam is a text message or email created to seemingly look like it’s from a trusted source like your bank, intending to trick you into sharing sensitive personal data.
How do you identify phishing scams? Here are the red alerts to look out for:
- An email or message claiming to be from a trusted source
- An email/message informing you that your account has been locked and you need to click on the attached link to unlock it
- Typos in the message/email
- Promotions that are too good to be true
- Messages/emails that create a sense of urgency, for example, you need to act promptly, or your bank account gets frozen
5. Check Your Data Security Status
Has any of your data been breached? You can only get the right answers by double-checking on a data breach search engine using your phone number or email.
Sites like “Have I Been Pwned?” are good for checking whether your data is secure or has been compromised. You can also search for your unique password to see how vulnerable you are.
6. Avoid Public Wi-Fi
Baristas at your favorite cafe might be nice, so you think it’s safe there, right? The truth is the public Wi-Fi at the cafe isn’t protected, making it easier for hackers to prey on and access your information and devices.
So the next time you want to browse from your laptop, create a hotspot with your phone. It is better than linking it up to nearby unprotected Wi-Fi networks.
But if you have to use a public Wi-Fi:
- Don’t log onto sites and apps that carry your critical information like health records and banking
- Use a VPN as an additional layer of privacy and security
7. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
The truth is about 5 billion people connect to the internet daily. And hackers take advantage of unsecured networks to steal sensitive information from unsuspecting users.
So, consider using a VPN to protect your online activity at home or out in public. A VPN prevents your IP address from being traced, protecting you and your data.
8. Use Multi-Factor Authentication
A secure way of logging in to your account is using multi-factor authentication—a security feature that requires you to validate multiple credentials before accessing your account.
Multi-factor credentials can be a passcode sent via authentication apps, text messages, or email. You must enter the passcode on the login page before a set time elapses. Other websites or apps will ask you to scan your fingerprint or face before accessing your account.
If cybercriminals steal your username and password, they’ll find it hard to access your account, as they’ll need an extra code to log in.
Stay Safe Online
While the internet has many benefits, it has inevitable privacy and data security pitfalls and trade-offs. But don’t worry too much!
You can keep your data and personal information safe by following the hacks discussed in this article. From using a VPN to familiarizing yourself with phishing scams to using secure websites—the peace of knowing your information is secure is unmatched.