In recent times, for a number of apps with high access abilities, high-profile data breaches and more sophisticated hacking strategies have made it more important than ever for regular people to place more emphasis on keeping their data safe. For example, the widely popular games app Pokémon Go riled security experts with its ability to access location data, your smartphone’s camera and Google account information, whilst recent news of Cambridge Analytica using the private Facebook data of over 50 million Facebook users to support Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign has shook the world. If there’s one thing that these things teach us, it’s that your personal data can never be too secure. Here are a few simple things you can do today to further protect your privacy online.
#1. Use a Password Manager:
If you use the same password for every website you log into, or even worse, have a password that’s easily guessable, then your data is at a higher risk of being compromised. If somebody could easily guess your password and then gain access to all your online accounts as a result, the consequences could be drastic. It may be time to consider getting a password manager program to generate and store strong passwords for you. Going beyond a simple password is also a good idea; use two-step verification wherever possible. This usually requires you to verify that it’s you trying to log in with a secret answer, or a code sent to your smartphone.
#2. Privacy Check Your Social Media:
After a whistleblower revealed that the data of over fifty million Facebook users was used by Cambridge Analytica, many users are considering deleting their profile on the popular social network. However, this isn’t necessary for protecting your data – all you need to do is ensure that you stay on top of your privacy settings. Your Facebook settings allow you to control who can see the information that you post, and how widely it can be shared. You should also regularly check your App Settings – these are apps that you’ve given access to in the past for a convenient login – some of which you may no longer use but are still allowing access to your data.
#3. Avoid Accessing Sensitive Data on a Public Wi-Fi Network:
Whilst public Wi-Fi networks can be great for getting things done on the go, there are a few things that you should probably avoid doing whilst logged into one. Since public Wi-Fi networks tend to be less secure, steer clear of doing things such as checking your email or logging into your online banking account until you’re able to use 4G data or connect to your private home Wi-Fi network. If you have no choice but to access sensitive personal data via public Wi-Fi, consider subscribing to a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which will provide an extra layer of protection and reduce your risk of being hacked. If you suspect that you’ve been hacked whilst using public Wi-Fi, get in touch with Secure Data Recovery for more advice.
These simple steps will help you improve your data security online and keep hackers away.