From work to personal, the Internet touches every aspect of our daily lives, and we sure do keep a lot of information online. 45% of Americans have had their personal information compromised by a data breach in the past five years, and 70% of Americans feel their personal information is less secure than it was five years ago.
Here are some simple tips to better protect your information online according to the National Cybersecurity Alliance.
- Use a Secure Password: A strong password is the first defense to protect bad actors from gaining access to your accounts. Use a long password or passphrase using at least one special character and upper- and lower-case letters. Change your passwords frequently.
- Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Enable MFA on all your accounts to require a password and a trusted device to be a secondary authenticator to allow a user to login. Using multi-factor authentication blocks 99% of account hacks.
- Keep Up to Date: Keep all your software updated to the latest versions available and maintain all security settings. Enable automatic updates, so you don’t even have to think about it.
- If You Connect It, Protect It: If you have a device that is connected to the Internet, it is vulnerable to an attack. Make sure every Internet-connected device you own is protected with anti-virus software or you are routinely monitoring it.
- Do Not Click and Tell: Keep your personal information safe by not sharing it in the first place. Limit the information you post on social media, and disable location services that allow anyone to see where you are.
- Educate Yourself on Phishing Attempts: Online criminals use sophisticated phishing tactics to trick victims into sharing personal information. Phishing attempts can come in the form of emails, attachments, or suspicious links.
- Monitor Your Apps: Most IoT devices are supported by a mobile application that could be compromised by other suspicious apps running in the background. Check your app permissions and delete anything no longer in use.
- Stay Protected in Public: Do not use public wireless hotspots such as those in airports, hotels, or coffee shops. These are unsecured networks that anyone can access.