Navigating life online can be incredibly complex. The Internet is so vast that it can be challenging to understand the various threats that exist involving cyber security. All you want to do is scroll through social media, do your job, stay connected to others, and browse for products and services.
Unfortunately, Internet safety is often taken for granted by individuals. They assume that if they have password protection or don’t click on strange links in their inboxes, then their information will be safe from data theft. This assumption is misguided.
As technology advances, so too do the methods of hackers and data thieves. They are always looking for ways to get your personal and financial information, which can put your future in serious jeopardy. With the number of online accounts that you have, there are many access points to your private information. Here are a few ways to protect your online accounts from cyber threats.
Stop Repeating Passwords
The most common mistake you can make with securing online accounts is using the same password over and over. This is especially dangerous if that password is the same among streaming services, social media, and bank accounts. What happens if a hacker manages to guess or steal that password for one account? Suddenly, they could access every platform with the same password, putting your finances at risk. To avoid this issue, it is better to create unique passwords for every online account, even if that feels exhausting or pointless. You will wish that you had in the event of a stolen password. Just record your passwords in a document either on your device or a piece of paper.
Uncheck the “Stay Signed In” Option
Many online accounts offer the option for you to stay signed in even if you have exited the application or browser tab. This is great for convenience so that you do not have to sign in every time, but it is a poor practice if you care about data protection. It does not take much more effort to sign out of your accounts whenever you finish using them and select the “remember password” option. This way, you can still access your platforms quickly with an efficient sign-in process, but you do not have to worry about the wrong people accessing these programs.
Rent a Temporary Phone Number
Many online accounts require a valid phone number to be created in the first place. Sharing your number with companies may not be desirable if you want that information to stay private. However, you can rent temporary phone numbers that are real in the United States to get past this barrier. For example, did you know you can create an Apple ID without a phone number if you rent a temporary number? This ensures that two-factor authentication occurs when you set up the account without sharing your personal phone number with Apple. Additionally, a temporary number could be created to migrate old account data to a new one, especially if you think your information has been compromised.
Improve Your Wi-Fi Security
Connecting to Wi-Fi networks often puts your data in a vulnerable position, especially if they are public networks. When you are at home, or conducting work at the business you own, a secure wifi connection is crucial for data protection. It is fairly simple to improve wifi security. First, you will want to lock your wifi so that only people with the password, which should be unique, can connect to the modem. Second, you should enable network encryption so that it is more difficult for any would-be hackers to steal and interpret the data.
Keep Your Devices Physically Secure
All the online safety tips in the world could be pointless if you lose one of your devices. If someone else gets their hands on your phone or laptop, all that information for your online accounts is vulnerable and you could experience identity theft or even financial consequences. Take steps to keep these devices on your person and do not leave them out in the open while in public. Opportunistic characters may take the chance to steal your device and use the information on it for nefarious purposes.
Internet Safety is Both Simple and Difficult
Data protection is often overlooked by the average consumer. They have too much to worry about in their daily lives to think about online security practices. However, since you likely have many online accounts, it only benefits you to protect all that information from cybersecurity threats.
Try to create unique and hard-to-guess passwords for your various logins. Sign out when you are done using a platform. Rent temporary phone numbers when signing up to avoid sharing your personal number. Invest in better Wi-Fi security and always keep your mobile devices secure in a bag or your hand. These steps can help you preserve your private information in an online world.