The popularity and adaption of the internet in our daily lives has left us vulnerable. Social media, blogging, vlogging and other such activities have almost diminished our privacy. Our habit of oversharing has made it easier for hackers and data thieves to misuse and exploit our identities for their personal benefit. In the previous year only, more than 978 million people belonging to 20 countries became victims of cybercrime (Source: Symantec). Cybercrime includes phishing, hacking, identity theft, identity fraud and a lot more. Protecting your data from falling into the wrong hands requires some effort and a lot of vigilance. Here are some ways you can protect your data from being obtained and misused:
1. Be careful with what you share
Do not share any private or personal details online such as your passwords, date of birth, driver’s license, or any information that might give people clues to your password or the answers of your security questions.
2. Protect your passwords
Do not save any passwords on your phone, laptop or computer. Always input them while logging in. If you give your browser permission to remember all your passwords then anyone hacking one of your accounts or computer will easily get access to all the other accounts as well. Secondly, what you should do is keep changing your password after every few days and never keep the same password for two different accounts. This will make it harder for your account from getting hacked.
3. Customize privacy settings
Fix the privacy settings of all your social media accounts to ‘just friends’ so only the people in your network can view your information and anything you share online. Not everyone should be able to see your personal information aside from your trusted friends circle.
4. Update all software
Update the software on all your devices so it can protect your data against cyber attacks. Updating your software will fix any errors, vulnerabilities and bugs that might be present in the system, thereby safeguarding it.
5. Backup all data
Backup all your important files and information on a cloud server or on an external device so you still have everything you need even if your files are erased from the server or blocked by a hacker, blackmailer or extortionist.
6. Install antimalware and firewalls
Protect all your data with firewalls and install an effective antimalware to protect all your files and data.
While there is no guarantee that your data will not fall into the wrongs hands, it is best to take the precautionary measures in order to safeguard it from being misused.