We spend hours each day browsing through apps and accounts, compiling massive amounts of personal data. This data is typically password-protected, but is that enough? Data breaches are becoming more prevalent than ever before, which means that thousands of usernames and passwords are traded around the internet every day. Here are a few tips to add an extra line of defense to your mobile data and personal information.
1) Create Unique Passwords for Every Site
In most cases, simple passwords are the only line of defense protecting your private information from outsiders. Today, just about every website requires a username and password with unique requirements including symbols and character count. Using the same password for all of your accounts may seem efficient and practical, but doing so puts you at greater risk of massive theft. If an outsider is able to crack your universal password, your banking, social media, contacts and just about everything else under the moon can be robbed. Protect yourself and your data by making unique passwords for each site that cannot be found anywhere on your devices.
2) Be Cautious When Using Public Wifi
If you’re using a public hotspot or free wifi, make sure to take the proper precautions to protect your data and browsing information. Home WiFi systems are safely encrypted while public WiFis usually are not. Use a legitimate VPN service to shield your personal information from other users who may be lurking on the same WiFi. Incognito windows will also protect your valued information when using a shared WiFi service.
3) Lock Your Apps
Passcode or fingerprint scanners may make it harder for outsiders to access your information, but once this level of security is breached, all of your information is vulnerable to theft. Locking your apps requires a passcode unique to each application to enter and browse the data stored within the app, whether it’s games, banking or music. Enabling a secure photo vault will also protect your private photos and videos from a potential data breach. These efforts will provide a secondary level of security to your valued data in case your phone is stolen.
4) Delete Old Accounts
Social media platforms come and go, taking your data with them. When older platforms fall out of style and accounts are abandoned, they have a massive collection of your personal data, including phone numbers and email addresses, that may be later sold as assets when the company chooses to cash out and close. When you create online profiles, platforms often require your permission to use and store your information for business purposes, regardless of whether or not you’re actively using the service. Keep your information secure by deleting personal accounts when you become inactive on the platform.
5) Allow App Permissions Only When Necessary
Most social media applications will prompt users with a request to allow microphone access for certain features within the app such as voice memos and video recording. While this may make sense in some cases if you utilize these functions, granting access to your microphone permits large corporations such as Facebook to tap into your microphone at any given time and collect data. The same goes for location services. Some apps such as food delivery, ride share or social media require location services to be turned on purely for proper app function. The privacy terms of these requirements are hard to find and even harder to understand what they’re really doing with your location. If you don’t intend to utilize these functions, it’s best to restrict app access to your microphone, camera, and location.
The BIGtoken blog brings you tips on data privacy and how to best manage your data everywhere. Get ready to claim your data.