As we mentioned in a previous post this year – “Tax-Related Identity Theft: It Happened to You. Now What?” – we know that securing your personal information continues to be a hot topic in 2015. It seems that not a week goes by that we don’t hear about another large organization having a breech in information security. This begs the question – what can we do to better protect ourselves from hackers and cyber criminals? Below are just a few ways you can keep your information safe in the digital world we are living in.
Get the right software and keep it current.
You need to choose a modern antivirus that not only scans your files but also prevents malicious software from being loaded onto your computer. You also need a good antispyware software. Many of us erroneously believe that we are safe since we only visit safe websites. The truth is, hackers are getting better at infiltrating legitimate websites – making you more vulnerable to viruses and information breeches.
Use strong passwords & keep them secure.
If you’ve been using the same password for the last year (or 5+ years) now is the time to update your security – especially if you are using this password on multiple accounts. As a best practice, choose a password that is 8+ characters long, uses upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. There are some great apps out there now to help you keep track of and even generate new passwords – so the “I won’t be able to remember them all” excuse simply won’t cut it.
Be prepared. Back up your data.
It’s important that we don’t rely on our hard drive to keep our critical files and information safe. Computer crashes do happen and it’s a best practice to back up that data. An external hard drive or storing these files on the cloud are both good options. With so much of our information stored digitally these days – backing up your data is a must.
Of course, we all hope that the worst will never happen to us – that we won’t get hacked, our computer won’t crash and our information won’t be compromised. Still, it’s important to be prepared. That way, if these things do happen to you, you’ll be ready to address them head on.
Read more on data security here: http://www.inc.com/yoav-vilner/hackers-gonna-hack-how-to-create-a-fortress-around-your-account.html