Securing your online data is important and easier than most people think. Sometimes all it takes is a few simple changes to your device. Check out our top tips for keeping your data safe:
1. Make Use of a Password Manager
A password manager is a software application that creates passwords and manages online data. A password manager remembers all of your passwords for you. You will not need to create that pesky login sheet. It can also auto-generate random passwords that are secure. You can save a lot of time, while ensuring that your identity is protected. A couple of great password managers to try are LastPass and 1Password.
2. Use Two-Step Authentication
Two-step authentication is an additional security layer that will keep your online accounts safe. This process requires two steps: 1. login to your online account with your username and password and 2. provide your phone number to receive a verification code. This option is provided by most major social networks. It’s a great idea to make use of two-step authentication whenever you can.
3. Use A Browser Extension To Protect Yourself When Browsing the Web
Believe it or not, online companies are tracking all of your online activity including your location, buying preferences, device you are using, and much more. Data advertisers are often able to determine who you are. Using a browser extension can help to block ads and ensures that malware cannot run in your browser. Browser extensions include uBlockOrigin and AdBlock.
4. Use VPN to Protect Your Data
A Virtual Private Network or VPN is “a service that both encrypts your data and hides your IP address by bouncing your network activity through a secure chain to another server miles away.” One of the main reasons to use VPN is to ensure that your data is secure when using public Wi-Fi. VPN allows you to hide any browsing history, passwords, confidential financial information, social media data, physical location, etc. Another benefit of VPN is that it can block internet service provider (ISP) tracking. ISP can track your online activity and share data with third parties (advertisers, data brokers, and even the government).
5. Be Careful Sharing Your Phone Number
Many people don’t realize this, attempts to get your phone number can be the root cause of many scams. Access to your phone number can provide someone with a lot of personal information. Information that can be gathered from your phone number includes: home address, property ownership, family information, and criminal records. Many scammers will also use your phone number to send phishing texts and robocalls. Best bet is to not share your phone number online.