Back in the “olden days” — in other words, when your folks were young, most sensitive information was printed on paper. Your mom kept track of her money in a savings account register from the bank and your dad paid the bills via checks and printed out statements.
Nowadays, most people keep tabs on their bank accounts, credit card statements, bills and taxes through their laptop or phone. While you might get a paper statement from a mom and pop business, most companies offer paperless billings, which means everything is stored electronically. This may be great for the environment, but it can also be problematic if you are not properly securing all of your information.
Fortunately, it is relatively easy to stay on top of digital security and keep your personal information as safe as possible from identity theft, ransomware and other threats. For instance, check out the following ideas for practicing effective digital security:
Start with the Best Possible Tech
One of the most effective ways to keep your data safe and secure is to purchase technology that has built-in, hardware-based security features. For example, one of the best mobile processors that is currently on the market today is from Qualcomm; their processors come with the Qualcomm Snapdragon Security Platform called Qualcomm Haven. It uses a hardware-based foundation to provide malware detection and secure biometric authentication. By investing high-quality mobile processors, you can ensure your tech will take the first step in keeping your digital data secure.
Be Vigilant About Passwords
In addition to buying tech that offers built-in digital security features, it’s important to take matters into your own hands and protect your cybersecurity in as many ways as you can. The best place to start is with your passwords. If most people are being honest with themselves, their passwords leave much to be desired; they are often easy to guess, re-used on multiple sites and are rarely changed. As soon as you can, sit down and make a list of every single website and account that uses a password, and change each and every one of them to something that is random, contains 16 or more characters and includes numbers and characters. Manage these different passwords with a password manager; if you are not sure which one to choose, Top 5 Password Managers offers helpful reviews; they rank dashlane number one. Change the passwords every six months or so, and if a site has two-factor authentication, use it. This will require entering a code they text to your phone or answering a security question.
Stay Current with Software Updates and Patches
One of the best forms of digital security “hygiene” is to stay on top of all of those software updates and patches you receive. In the case of the recent WannaCry ransomware attack, it did its dirty work by exploiting a known vulnerability. As CNBC reports, WannaCry was easily avoided by people who kept their software and anti-virus programs up to date. You can either opt for automated software updates, or you can be highly organized about staying on top of the updates as they become available. This way, your software and the precious data it is protecting will not fall victim to ransomware or another breach.
You don’t have to go back to phone bills printed on paper and checking account registers from the bank to keep your personal data out of the hands of thieves. By investing in the best possible equipment and then doing what you can through password management and software updates to keep your digital info secure, you can definitely go a long way in avoiding security and ransomware issues and attacks.