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13 tricks to keep your data safe online

Here’s what you need to know.

nondescript wifi router on table
Image: Consumer Reports

With cybersecurity threats evolving and taking on new forms every day, you cannot afford to take anything but an active approach to keeping your data safe online. Fortunately, it is not rocket science, and by implementing a few best practices, you can up your data security and privacy.

Among the straightforward best practices you can trust to help keep your data safe online include the following:

Change Your Passwords

Make it as difficult as possible for anyone to crack your passwords. Focus more on the “hard-to-guess” part and not so much on the “easy-to-remember” bit when creating passwords. Passphrases are stronger than passwords, and they can be anything you want, such as a lyric from a song or any phrase with a special meaning for you.

Avoid Storing Your Login Credentials In Your Browser

“Remember login” makes logging into your accounts very convenient, but it also makes you more vulnerable. Not only can someone else easily log in to your account, but they can also take note of the login credentials and attempt logging in to other accounts.

Avoid Sites That Are Not Secure

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There secure website identifiers that you should always look at before visiting a website and even more before sharing your information over that particular website connection. You don’t have to worry about your data privacy with an https website.

Log Out

Failing to log out or lock your computer is no different from leaving the door wide open for when the burglars come knocking. Some cyber-attacks are carried remotely while in other cases, it’s as easy as just having physical access to your computer.

The password on your operating system is a good enough line of defense. Also, avoid leaving your computer connected to the internet when not in use

Install Anti-Malware Protection Software

There is no shortage of both free and premium anti-malware software. Install the software on your phone and computer, and you can enjoy the benefits of impenetrable firewalls, virus scanning, and more.

Update All Software

Right from your operating system to applications and anti-malware software, ensure that you install software updates. These updates usually come with critical security patches that will help you stay safe online. If the option is available, then you should turn on automatic updates to ensure that you do not miss anything.

Encrypt Your Data

No. Data encryption is not a reserve for the overly tech-savvy and the geeks. There are many tools available for the secure encryption of emails and files. Encryption offers high-level protection, and there are several options when it comes to premium-subscription encryption programs.

Use VPN

online shopping with a vpn

Image: Unsplash

Use a virtual private network (VPN) every time you have to use a public network. In addition to safeguarding your connections from hackers, you also get to enjoy some online anonymity and avoid geographical restrictions.

Only Install Apps From Trusted Sources

It seems there is a handful of apps being launched with every new day. Be mindful of what you install on your devices. Check the sources, read reviews from other users. If you are in doubt, be it because of the number of access permissions that the apps are asking for or whatever other signals, then it is better to err on the side of caution and not install the app at all.

Be Mindful Of Files You Download

Just as with apps, be careful with other files, be it images and videos that you download. Again, if it’s not a trusted website, best to avoid downloading any files from there altogether.

Set Up Two-Step Verification

passwords

Image: Phandroid

Wherever may be possible, double up on the protection by setting up two-step verification. LinkedIn, for example, has this option, helping you to keep your account more secure. You can do the same for your email accounts. In the event that hackers do crack your password, they’ll still have one layer of protection to get past.

Careful With Email Attachments And Links

Avoid clicking on links and opening attachments in emails from sources that you do not recognize. You should be especially wary of files with an “exe” extension. Hackers and spammers embed viruses and other malware in these links and file attachments. Avoid forwarding the same to others, and delete such emails permanently instead.

Don’t Be Too Quick To Share

Be cautious about giving out your personal information online. Forms will pop up, requiring you to input your information. As always, if it is not a website that you trust, best not to share your information at all.

You must be deliberate about your efforts to keep your data safe online and fight against cyber attacks. Outlined are just but a few of the best practices to ensure that your data is safe and secure.

Have any thoughts on this? Have any suggestions to share? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Just another guy who likes to write about tech and gadgets.

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