Important Steps To Take To Keep Your Personal Information Safe

It seems like not even a few days pass by without a data theft scandal, and since our lives have become increasingly dependent on the internet, protecting our personal information has become even more crucial. Major data breaches are capable of exposing the information of millions of users. To avoid the devastating experience of your data being handed over to criminals and being misused, it’s very important to ensure that your data remains safe. 

Whether it’s the details of your credit card that you saved for purchasing an item online or it’s your home address that you saved for delivery, almost all of our data is saved online. Not only does this make you more vulnerable to a data breach but also much more unsafe since the leaked information can easily be misused. In this article, we’ll be discussing some of the most important steps that you can take to protect your personal data. So let us get to these steps and understand how you can keep your data yours and yours alone. 

1. Secured Websites

Entering personal information into an insecure site is the last thing you’ll want to do. While thinking about the most important ways to protect personal information, checking the website’s security status should be on the top of your priorities. When you’re using an internet browser, look for a lock symbol right before the URL and see if the URL starts with “HTTPS”. If both of these are noted, you’re on a secure website. Apart from these, you can also look for the contact information, privacy policy, and a seal that states “verified secure”. All of these will help you gauge the trustworthiness of the website. 

2. Be Wary

Phishing scams by cybercriminals can be composed in such a manner that they’ll look very similar to legitimate communications from a reputable company. However, these scams are intended to steal your data and can result in significant losses for you. To avoid such a situation, you should look for minor errors or differences in the email address that isn’t usually present on the original webpage. Make sure that you don’t click on any links or open any attachments sent by individuals that you don’t trust either. 

3. Avoid Free Wi-Fi

As appealing as it may sound, a free Wi-Fi connection can be very dangerous. The majority of free public WiFi networks tend to have few measures of security, which means that other users using the same network can easily access your data. So before you plan to purchase that alluring silk shirt online, you should wait until you reach home and use a secure Wi-Fi network to complete the transaction. 

4. Social Media

We all know that one person who’s obsessed with sharing their personal life online. In fact, this person could be you as well, however, social media is easily one of the leading causes of identity theft protection so from now onwards, before you decide to share something on social media, know that it has the capacity to place you and your privacy in jeopardy. You must check your privacy settings to find out who can see your stories and posts to make sure that your information stays private and within a closed circle. Also, you must be cautious when sharing your birth date, hometown, current location, or any other personal data as it can easily be used to crack your passwords. 

5. Strong Passwords

If you create passwords based on things that many people know about you, the risk of your accounts getting hacked increases tenfold. For instance, if you use your name or birthday as a password, it becomes simpler for a cybercriminal to figure out your password. Therefore, you must utilize a combination of symbols, upper and lower-case letters, and numbers along with ensuring that they’re changed periodically. Also, another excellent method of ensuring that you have good id theft protection is to utilize a third-party service that’s reputed and effective. Ensuring these factors means that even if one of your accounts is compromised, the others remain secure. In case you happen to get confused with passwords, you can use a password manager tool that will make your life much simpler. 

6. Email Accounts

To make sure that your sensitive information doesn’t get breached, one of the best ways is to make more than just one email account. You should save your personal information associated with banking to the account that isn’t shared with anyone else as that will add another layer of security. The other accounts can be used for subscribing to newsletters, streaming services, online games, and whatever you want. You can use another account for communicating with family and friends as it’ll help you in case any of your multiple accounts become compromised. 

7. Use Multi-Factor Authentication

Among the most basic actions that can be taken to protect your personal information from cybercriminals is to set up multi-factor authentication. Most service providers will permit you to turn it on by changing a few settings. If you’ve got the choice to scan a QR code that is required to be scanned during this setup, it’s highly recommended to do so as a second authentication step usually makes it very difficult for any cybercriminal to hack. 

8. Ask Questions

The protection of your data is an equal responsibility shared between both you and the service providers you frequently use. Therefore, it is your responsibility as a consumer to read and scrutinize the privacy policy of the applications and websites you utilize most. If a company’s guidelines and privacy policy aren’t aligned with what you seek, you should look for substitutes as there’s nothing more valuable than your data. This process will aid you in ensuring that your personal data is safe with the respective website or app. 

With the increasing penetration of the internet, the personal data of millions of users is available online. Failing to secure this data can lead to its misuse and theft by cybercriminals. Therefore, everyone needs to make sure that their information remains private. To help you with the same, this article discussed some of the most crucial steps that you should be taking to ensure that your privacy is maintained.

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