Given the fast pace at which technology develops, staying up to date on the latest ways to protect yourself is vital to guarding your personal information.
For all the convenience they have brought, mobile devices have also opened up a myriad of new ways for you to compromise your personal information.
Today, keeping personal information safe is a concern for virtually anyone using a computer or a mobile device to access the Internet. Given the fast pace at which technology develops, staying up to date on the latest ways to protect yourself is vital to guarding your personal information.
This is especially important when dealing with online banking or shopping, where one misstep could give scammers and hackers direct access to your money.
One of the most important tricks to keep accounts and information secure is to keep your passwords private.
Creating different passwords for different online services and accounts can ensure than any breach of security remains compartmentalised, so one leak won’t sink the entire ship.
Using strong passwords that combine letters and numbers, preferably in a random pattern, makes is virtually impossible to guess a password, which provides much better security than using your cat’s name as a password.
Installing a good antivirus programme on your computer can also help safeguard against Trojoans and other viruses intent on stealing your information.
Check on the settings of your antivirus programme to ensure that you are always up to date with the latest version of the software, and have it scanning your computer often.
When it comes to the software on your computer or mobile device, it is vital to keep it as up to date as possible. Manufacturers release updates and patches as they become aware of security loopholes in their systems, so unless you update to the latest versions automatically, your system could be vulnerable.
Although many mobile devices can run software updates ‘over the air’ these days, some may still require syncing with a computer in order to upgrade to the latest version of software.
When dealing with online shopping and payment sites, looking for an address that starts with https is a clue that you’re on a secure site.
However, any business conducted over a public WiFi network is inherently more vulnerable than that conducted over your home network, so where possible leave important business until you are home.
If you intend to do banking using a mobile device, only do so using the official app from your bank. In order to keep things more secure, avoid having the device memorise the password for account access, and place a password lock on the device itself.
Many devices will also allow you to set it up so that ten consecutive mistakes when attempting to enter a password will wipe all data on the device. Some devices like Apple’s iPad and iPhone will even allow you to wipe the device remotely should you lose it.
Being security aware can ensure that the convenience of mobile devices does not turn into a curse due to a moment of forgetfulness.
Before you store any information on a mobile device, think about the impact it could have if it fell into the wrong hands, and then work to limit its usefulness to any unauthorised person.
Entering a password every time you start up your device might seem to be a bit of a pain, but it is not nearly as bad as having to change the login details of every single account you use.