In 2017, there were 1,579 data breaches, exposing more than 179 million personal records. This is nearly a 44 percent increase from the year before!
Are you worried about your personal information? Cybercrime is on the rise, but there are ways you can secure your personal private information. Keep reading how to protect your personal information from these cyber thieves.
- Install Security Software
It’s vital to install protection on your devices. This includes anti-spyware software, anti-virus software, and a firewall. Make sure you update these protections often because they are one of your first lines of defense.
Whenever there is an update, you should install it immediately to help protect your software programs. In addition, your operating system will occasionally send out security patches, so update those immediately as well because this improves your security.
- Use Complex Passwords
Another way to prevent intrusions on your private information is to use secure and more complex passwords. You want to use a password that has at least eight characters and a combination of lowercase and uppercase, numbers, and computer symbols.
You should also not reuse passwords. If you have a lot of passwords to remember, use a password manager.
- Be Aware of Scams
Hackers are constantly evolving their tactics. It’s important to avoid phishing scams in emails and texts. Don’t respond to alarming emails asking you to click on a website for personal information.
These sites may look authentic, but most likely are not. Always look for the https:// in the web address and the closed padlock in the address bar. These will tell you if the website is secure.
- Be Careful on WiFi
If you are at a coffee shop or in a store, the public free WiFi networks don’t offer much security. This means that anyone else using that same network can take a peek at your online activity.
With that said, it’s important that you don’t order something with your credit card online or visit your bank account when you are on public WiFi.
Even password-protected WiFi is only as safe as the people that have the password. Wait until you are on a secure network to make purchases or pay bills. Then you can encrypt your activity, so others can’t view what you are doing.
When you set up your WiFi network at home, make sure you log in to your router and set a password with a secure encrypted setup to protect your data.
- Check Your Information Annually
You should do a yearly audit of sites you visit, and if you do have a password manager, you can check all the sites it saved. Close any accounts you no longer use.
You should also check your credit report for any suspicious activity. Report immediately.
Some services will watch your personal and private information for you. Imagine having your own digital bodyguard to protect you—learn more here about these services.
Protect Your Personal Private Information
Use these tips to protect and secure your personal private information. Be wary of giving out your Social Security number and clicking on links requesting more information. Develop a password strategy and always be smart when using WiFi.
Looking for other ways to improve your security or even learn more about technology? Check out the Technology section of our site to help you with your online endeavors.