In our digital world, it’s essential to protect yourself from online threats: scams, hackers, malware and misuse of your personal information. While cyber attacks are becoming more common and sophisticated, our advice and some simple steps can help you stay safe and secure online.
Use good passwords. While a simple password – such as 123password – is easier to remember, it means your personal information is potentially at risk if a ne’er-do-well manages to crack it. You need a different one for each service you use. If you need help keeping tabs on all your passwords, invest in a password manager.
Use two-factor authentication (2FA), whenever possible. Entering your user name and password to log into a service is known as one-factor authentication. Whereas the 2FA method also sends a code to a nominated device (for example, your phone), which you need to enter to log in. This means even if a hacker can crack your password, they’d still need your device.
Update your apps. You’re not just getting the latest features when you’re updating your apps, it also fixes vulnerabilities. This makes it tougher for attackers to access your information. Also check the permissions your apps have. Since you’re cleaning up, check if you have any apps gathering digital dust. If you do, bin them – you won’t have to worry about updating them and you’ll free up space.
Check your privacy settings. Even a digital hermit could be surprised at how much of their personal information is available online. It’s not just social media, it can also be info you’ve shared with companies with which you have online accounts. This means it could be easy to deduce your mother’s maiden name, where you went to school and when you’re away on holiday – all prime information an attacker can use to try to get your data, steal your identity or attack your contacts. Check your privacy settings on social media. If a business asks for your information, think about why it wants it. If you’re unsure, go old school and call it up. If it still seems fishy, give it a miss.