Best practices to secure personal data

Small things can save you a lot. Here are 5 tips to secure personal data.

Update, update, update

All the time! Stop pushing the “later” button. Updates not only correct bugs but security vulnerabilities as well. (more than 90% of software updates are to patch security failures). A hole in the security will allow malware’s attacks. You do not want this to happen!

Be creative when you choose a password

We keep saying it but … Passwords like “password” or “123456” are not secure AT ALL. Always mix and match letters, numbers and symbols. It’s also recommended to go for a passphrase rather than a password. The difference? A password is a short sequence when a passphrase is based on the same principle but is usually longer. As your password is usually not a word, a passphrase allows you to create a memorable longer sentence.

Some tips?

  • at least 15 characters
  • a mix and match of letters, numbers and symbols
  • a case-sensitive phrase
  • use at least 4 distinct words, and separate them by space or symbols

Example: newYorK&4unme#

Beware of phishing scams

A phishing email is an email that looks real but is not: it looks legit, and will ask you to log into your account. What you will do, using … your password. Phishing emails lure users into revealing their credentials. You can usually spot them easily because they’re not very qualitative (spelling mistakes, blur images, ugly buttons, etc.).

Don’t trust email too much

Don’t send your credit card information or social security number through email. Even if you have a good security software, your data can be compromised — don’t forget that emails are Cloud services, which means that your data is stored somewhere on a server … which can be hacked or stolen.

Online shopping? Yes but.

As online shopping is taking over, don’t forget to protect yourself from malware there as well. You want to make sure the web address uses secure technology? Here are a few tips:

  • the website starts with https
  • you see a tiny padlock symbol on the right top corner of the screen
  • there is a statement at the checkout screen about security of the pages you just used. Make sure the security technology company exists for real by checking the company’s website.

Small things, that can save you a lot!

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