So much of our lives take place in the digital world now that we must focus on ways to protect our most-valuable information. The following list shows 8 (relatively) easy things you can do to secure your information and protect against digital thieves.
- Use unique passwords for all your accounts. This way if one account gets hacked, your others are not at immediate risk.
- Use random passwords. A good password uses a minimum of eight characters, with a mix of upper-case and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid common words since there is software that can guess them.
- Use a password manager. All of these unique, random passwords will be tough to remember. The good news is you don’t have to. Password managers, such as LastPass (free) or 1Password (small cost), take care of that for you!
- Use two-step verification where you can. Most major services, like Google and Facebook, now offer two-step verification, also known as two-factor authentication. This means you use a second level of protection in addition to a password, like a phone, so if your password is stolen your account will still be safe.
- Use updated software. Always update all software to get the most current security patches. Oftentimes, a weakness found in one version will be fixed in a newer version.
- Use a pin on your smartphone. Our phones carry a lot of personal information so it’s best to keep them locked up.
- Use an external hard drive to back up your files. If you back up your phone to your computer, and your computer to an external hard drive, your files will be protected if one of your devices crashes.
- Use full-disk encryption if available. Many Windows and Apple machines come with the ability to encrypt your hard drive. If you have the option to turn this on, do it.