The rising influence of technology has simplified the lives of people in many ways. However, it has also made personal data vulnerable and prone to attacks by hackers. In this digital age, when large amounts of personal and financial data is hosted online, it becomes important to keep it secure.
If you haven’t already, follow these 10 rules to secure your identity and keep your money safe.
1. KEEP YOUR DEVICES LOCKED
Whether it’s your smartphone or laptop, your devices contain valuable personal information including bank account details and more. In almost every case, the password to all the accounts would be automatically saved.
Keeping your devices secured and locked at all times is the only way to keep your information secured. It might be tedious to insert the password each time, but this process is a primary defense against potential intruders.
2. BE CAREFUL WHEN USING WI-FI
Whenever you’re connected online through a public network, it’s best to avoid accessing personal information. Bank transactions are a strict no-no, as it can expose your sensitive information to hackers.
Public networks at places like malls, hotels, and coffee shops are soft targets for hackers. Though most apps and websites have secure platforms, it’s not worth the risk.
3. NEVER USE THE SAME PASSWORD FOR ALL ACCOUNTS
It might be tempting to use the same password in all accounts for the ease of remembering. However, doing so will only land you in trouble in the event one of your accounts is hacked.
Be creative when it comes to your passwords and have complex ones, especially for your bank accounts. Make good use of numbers and symbols besides letters to make sure your passwords are long enough.
Fortunately, you do not have to remember them all given you can now make use of popular password managers like LastPass, which is available on Windows, Android, and iOS platforms.
4. USE TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION
Even if you have strong passwords, it might not be enough to prevent attempts designed to steal your personal information.
Two-factor authentication is an added layer of security that can keep your accounts safe. Authenticator applications like Google Authenticator can be a great tool to start with.
5. DIGITALLY SHRED PRIVATE DOCUMENTS
Your old documents, if left unattended or misplaced, could cost you severely. You can never expect who can access your documents.
Accordingly, it’s best to trash them or better yet, even digitally shred them. Getting rid of documents that are no longer in need is the best way of staying organized.
6. USE ANTIVIRUS PROTECTION
There are numerous antivirus software solutions that provide protection against different online threats. Most of them don’t cost much and provide quarterly, half-yearly or even annual protection plans.
Investing in a good antivirus will help you keep your system free from any viruses or malware designed to expose your private information.
7. SECURE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILES
It’s fun to engage with different people on social platforms and share stories about your life events. However, you can let identity thieves take advantage of your information if it’s not kept private.
Review all your privacy settings to ensure what you share remains restricted to your network.
8. KEEP IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS IN A VAULT
Your important identification documents like birth certificates, social security cards, and more don’t need to be accessed regularly. It’s advisable to keep them secure in a lockbox, preferably a fireproof one.
You can do the same for your online documents by keeping them securely in a lockbox, with complete encryption. By doing so, your sensitive online documents gain an extra layer of protection through encryption.
9. BEWARE OF PHISHING WEBSITES
Phishing websites often mimic real websites to extract the all-important login credentials of users. Installing Trojans on systems has become tougher, but tricking people into giving away their credentials is still very easy to accomplish.
Never try to access your bank accounts or any other accounts through links that you receive in your inbox. Visit the websites directly and always look for the secure URL indicator to remain protected.
10. STAY UPDATED
Data breaches related to bank accounts or any other personal information often receive wide coverage in the media. Use this information to check if any of your personal information has been compromised in any way.
In case you discover that your data was compromised, you must quickly change the password of all your accounts. Be sure to follow other relevant safety tips listed by the account providers.
Hackers are always on the prowl to steal sensitive personal information. While it’s something inevitable, you can keep your personal information protected by following these vital rules.
Also, you can consult experts who will provide you with additional information to keep yourself away from hackers.