It’s almost obvious that you will purchase products and services online or even give your personal information to websites you trust. However, the information you use online is not always safe from criminals who could use it to access vital, sensitive data about you. The guide below is a list of tips and tricks that will provide you with the necessary skills required to protect your data from falling into the wrong hands.
Protect Credit Cards
As you make your purchases over the internet, always make sure you are entering credit card information on a secure website. The site’s URL should always start with HTTPS – HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure. Avoid making purchases at an unsecured website, even if buying coffee; plus, always log out of your banking accounts if you are using public devices.
For extra precaution, purchase a prepaid credit card and load it with limited funds specifically for making purchases online. This step helps reduce risk in case someone manages to steal your financial information.
Factory Reset and Wipe Your Drive
In most cases, simply deleting a file on your mobile device or computer does not remove the information and data you are trying to get rid of. Before you throw away or sell off your old device, ensure that you wipe the drives fully and factory reset it. Without taking these extra steps, the next owner of the mobile or laptop will have access to your secure information, including files you had previously deleted.
Use Password Protection
Today, many websites require you to setup a complex password before you have the chance to use their services. While this may at first seem like an inconvenience, it is all done with your best interest at heart. Make sure that your friends and relatives are not able to guess your passwords, meaning things like birthdays, family member names, anniversary and other easy to guess identifying information are out of bounds.
In a perfect world, you should be making use of a random password generator and these passwords saved in an encrypted, secure file on your computer. Since this is a little extreme for the average internet user, there is always the option of using different passwords for important accounts like email and bank. In addition, never use common-knowledge information for password recovery questions like mother’s maiden name.
Be Cautious on Social Media
Social media might seem like the safest place to be and where you can share some intimate details about your life; however, always be vigilant about what you are sharing on these networks. Even criminals may use seemingly mundane information like your address or birthday for dangerous purposes.
To avoid such situations, make sure that you personalize your social network’s account security settings. In addition, any posts that may contain Personal Identifiable Information (PII) should only be viewable by a select few individuals. Finally, be wary of anyone you have no connection with in real life gaining access to your PII.
Cloud for Back-Ups
Backup your important files just in case one of your devices is stolen or broken. In recent years, cloud computing is becoming more secure with large technology companies like Microsoft and Amazon taking over the market. Even medical facilities use the cloud to store data for easy access to files and securing confidential documents.
While your security requirements may not be as large as those for a business requiring professional security help like identity and access management in Detroit, the tips and tricks above have hopefully offered you a deeper understanding of online security. It’s never too early or too late to protect yourself on the Internet.
Taby Gits is an influencer marketing pro with brownboxbranding.com who is passionate about building authentic relationships and helping businesses connect with their ideal online audience. She keeps her finger on the pulse of the ever-evolving digital marketing world by writing on the latest marketing advancements and focuses on developing customized blogger outreach plans based on industry and competition.