12 Ways to Keep Your Data & Identity Safe Online

12 Ways to Keep Your Data & Identity Safe OnlineHow to Boost Your Digital Security for Peace of Mind

From the recent Facebook data breach to compromised customer data at huge companies like FedEx and Delta, personal security is more relevant than ever.

In fact, it might even seem that our data is under attack!

While you cant always prevent data security issues, here are 12 ways to help you protect yourself in this fast-moving digital age:

1. Stop sending sensitive information digitally.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but many people email tax documents to their accountant, or text a password to a family member in a pinch.

2. Beware of public Wi-Fi.
Anything you send in a coffee shop or airport can be intercepted by someone on the same network. Consider using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) https://www.cnet.com/best-vpn-services-directory/ when youre out and about.

3. Secure your texts.
Whether you use a free app like WhatsApp or a paid Android or iOS solution, there are lots of end-to-end encryption options, ensuring only you and the recipient see messages.

4. Stay up to date.
If you dont, you could be at risk for malware, viruses and cybercrime attacks. Make sure your operating system and software are updated – many devices do this automatically.

5. Worry less about wireless.
Secure your wireless network with a password so nobody can jump onto your Wi-Fi network and steal info.

6. Be cautious of clever email scammers.
Todays phishing emails can have links that lead to realistic-looking websites. Never give out passwords or other sensitive info by email, text or phone unless youre sure that youre talking to the actual organization.

7. Lock down your laptop.
Make sure your laptop requires a password when it boots up. That way, if it gets stolen or prying eyes try to access your device, theyll be stopped before they start.

8. Wipe out data.
If its time for a new laptop or smartphone, make sure your data isnt hanging around. Once youve backed up any data you need, use a software program to permanently erase your hard drive.

9. Choose security questions wisely.
Avoid using common words in your passwords. Period. Google estimated someone would have a 19.7% success rate answering “pizza” to “Whats your favourite food? Customize questions or pick harder ones to guess.

10. Avoid sites that arent https.
Https stands for “hypertext transfer protocol with secure socket layer” (otherwise known as having a SSL certificate.) Sites without an “s” on the end are not secure if you are being asked to make a purchase or submit private/sensitive data that could get intercepted.

11. Pay attention to privacy settings.
Choose who can see the content you post on sites like Facebook and Instagram, and who can view your profile.

Opt for the highest level of privacy possible but be aware that some settings will prevent potential clients from seeing your posts, so find a happy balance that wont sacrifice your social media marketing efforts!

12. Back up your data.
If your device gets stolen or compromised, what happens to that work report or your nieces baby photos? Schedule automatic backups through your operating system or a cloud service.

While even the biggest and brightest companies can be hacked or otherwise attacked, these online security tips can help you reduce some of the risks.

Also, if youre hiring a web professional developer to help with your business, make sure theyre well-aware of current security issues. We build websites with our clients safety in mind and perform regular security updates for ongoing peace of mind.

Id love to hear how you safeguard your digital life in the comments.