In an increasingly connected world, it is essential to take responsibility for our personal data and what we share online.
When it comes to online activities it is almost impossible to attain paramount security, however, it is vital we err on the side of caution and take steps to avoid unnecessary breaches. It is hard to escape the realm of online security these days. Whether it’s the upcoming GDPR enforcement placing a mandatory health check on various sectors responsible for client data information or the big tech companies and their total lack of accountability when it comes to utilization of customer data. One thing is certain, we need to start owning responsibility for our online data and activities.
We have already mentioned in previous articles the importance of the precautionary principal, all too often we get a panicked client call to re hash a familiar story of being hacked. Where once strong passwords were considered the epitome of ensuring your personal data remained safe, with rapidly adaptive hackers and technology this security paradigm no longer holds.
It is not all doom and gloom though, there are preventative measures you can take to reduce the risk of a hack. The following are some guidelines on how best to improve your online security status.
Use strong and unique passwords for your accounts but also make sure you use 2FA
As I already mentioned the use of a strong password is no longer sufficient when it comes to protecting your online accounts. Most tech giants such as Facebook and Google now offer users a second step to verifying their account. This is called two factor authentication 2FA and we cannot recommend enough as to how important enabling this feature is
Ensure all devices are password protected
While establishing that your accounts are suitably protected it is also fundamental to ensure that your actual device is also secure. Our phones have become like an extension of ourselves and contain some of our most personal data as well as direct entry into apps. For this reason, it is vital that you and your device are prepared for the unfortunate circumstance of theft, loss or misuse.
Excercise caution when using public WIFI hotspots
As already mentioned, hackers and their means of accessing personal data is constantly adapting. It is easy for a hacker to take over a public WIFI hotspot and through that carry out a range of techniques that could leave you at risk. If you have to log on to a public WIFI spot avoid keying in private personal details such as logon or bank details. For more information on hackers and how they obtain and use the data they steal read here
Be vigilant when it comes to emails
Email scams are something we see on a weekly basis. Look closely at email addresses, and under no circumstances open suspicious links. If you have a feeling that something is not right always query it.
A good antivirus software will be able to detect and remove potential threats from your PC. By preventing you from clicking into malware, it can prevent hackers from attaining and misusing your personal information.
For most accounts we are asked personal questions to verify accounts in the case of forgotten passwords. These questions are generally similar and the answers can sometimes be accidentally shared through posting information on social media platforms such as Facebook and Linkedin. Be careful with the information you post, and remember once something is posted online it can be akin to opening Pandora’s box.