Our personal data, digital privacy and security are under attack constantly, it may be hackers or even some advertisers who will exploit as many loopholes as possible to get into your device. It is becoming increasingly important to do everything possible to protect your privacy on the web but not everyone is doing so.
The following tactics are some of the easiest strategies to avoid falling victim to an attack. Some are obvious and simple, others are less so but all should be employed when using your devices.
How many of these do you do regularly?
You password protect your devices
Probably the most common tactic and often the only one used! It’s not foolproof but it would be one more hoop for a would-be thief to jump through if it were ever to get into the wrong hands. When your whole life is on that device it just makes sense. Plus it prevents any embarrassing accidental calls and status updates posted without your knowledge.
You use passwords that are different across all your accounts
If someone correctly guesses your password then one of the first things they are going to check is what else this will grant them access to. A lot of people will admit to not doing this
Using a system where a part of the password changes and another part of the password is contextual. Even better whenever available use a two-step authentication process like having to log a code sent to your mobile on login.
Before you click on a link you check it’s valid
Scams are getting more sophisticated as awareness increases, often more that they are given credit for, something that surely works to their advantage. You may even think 'I would never fall for that’ which is the false sense of security scammers want you to have.
Before you click know your source but don’t trust that alone as this may be compromised. Still, check that that the link looks right. Often it is smaller differences like the spelling or an unexpected extension and a shortened link is always a huge red flag.
Using an online tool like a link scanner is a good idea before you click, just right click and select copy address/ copy link address depending on your browser
When accessing public WiFi you use a VPN
Tech-savvy criminals can easily intercept Data sent through public Wi-Fi, meaning you could putting at risk the security of your personal information, digital identity, and money.
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, allows you to create a secure connection to another network over the Internet. VPNs can be used to access region-restricted websites, shield your browsing activity from prying eyes on public Wi-Fi, and more.
You switch off your Bluetooth when it's not in use
As useful as Bluetooth may be it also brings with it a certain risk and if your being targeted by someone with the right equipment this may be able to happen at distances greater than you might think. You can buy secure Bluetooth devices and be sure to set up pin codes that are hard to remember in an effort to combat this.
Open Blue Tooth connections can still be exploited so when you are using Bluetooth technology in public, when you're finished remember to switch it off. This will help to avoid Bluejacking, bluesnarfing, blue bugging – whatever you want to call it, as well as saving your battery life.
You're careful what you share on social media
Oversharing on social media can be risky when details about upcoming holidays and weekends away are shared and anyone can see this. The information shared on here can make excellent material for highly targeted scams of which more people are seeing more.
It not that you should not be able to share what you like on your own account but making your profile readable to friends only and so is keeping a lockdown on exactly which of those friends can see which posts is a good idea.
You log out of all financial accounts
It's a pain to remember all those online shopping and banking passwords and pin codes but this is one place where you should try to resist the urge to find hit the save button when prompted to remember. it would take a lot longer to get your financial life back in order if someone did get in. It’s similar to displaying all credit cards in a place that’s easy to see and again this is one that many people would admit to not doing.
Any old gadgets are encrypted before they are sold or thrown out
Anytime you get a new device it's always an exciting time to try it out but don’t neglect your old device and remember to wipe and encrypt before handing it off to its next destination, even if that is the bin. You may fully trust who you are handing it over to but if your old data is not encrypted you are trusting that they would encrypt before selling or passing on to another. After that, you don’t know where your recoverable data could be.