Your digital life is in some ways is as important as protecting as is your physical life. So here are 10 ways to put the seatbelt on your cyber life:
Back up your data.
- There are different ways to do this, but just choose at least two backups preferably local and cloud and make it a daily habit. It is said in regards to backup: "Two is one and one is none." In other words, two copies is a backup and one copy, of course is a data disaster in the making. Check out Carbonites redundant backups.
Make yourself trick-proof.
- Perhaps the most common way a hacker "gets into" a computer system is by tricking the user into revealing passwords, usernames and other sensitive information-via e-mails with attention-grabbing subject lines (a la "Your account is suspended").
- Hackers send e-mails made to look like the sender is a legitimate person such as your employer, healthcare plan, bank, UPS, etc. Never click e-mails inside links unless someone you know normally sends you certain kinds of links (e.g., animal stories).
Longer Phone PINs
- The default code is four digits, but make it five or more. BUT, the chance of your phone being cracked with 4 is still very small.
Use Antivirus Software
- Are you living like a primitive, that is, using a computer that doesn't have malware protection? Some say it's not needed. I don't agree.
- With a password manager there's no excuse for not having a different long, jumbled password for every account. Roboform is a great option.
- Change your router's admin login.
- Use WPA2 encryption.
- Change its default password.
- See which accounts offer this, then activate it.
Encrypt Sensitive E-mails
- No matter how trustworthy the recipient, you should always encrypt transmission of sensitive information such as bank account numbers, SSN, passwords, etc.
- On this same note, never use public Wi-Fi without a virtual private network (VPN) unless you intend on just reading stories. Public Wi-Fi is open hunting season for hackers.
Know what your apps are up to.
- Apps for your phone and Facebook can leak out your personal information; make sure the settings are as private as you want.
Clicking on Videos
- Hackers often use videos to lure people into clicking on them. The click can download malware, make you download a video player, or take you to a website that lures you into revealing sensitive information. Even if you think you're lure-proof, are you video-click-proof? Or will you hastily click on that video that promises to show your favorite celebrity naked in a hot tub?
Robert Siciliano is an identity theft expert to BestIDTheftCompanys.com discussing identity theft prevention.
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