Protecting Your Information in The Digital Age
Information security is a topic that is on a lot of our minds lately. With documentaries like Netflix’s The Social Dilemma, information resurfacing about election scandals, and Apple’s new commercials and marketing around privacy, we all seem to be concerned now more than ever about protecting our digital information.
We recently had the opportunity to speak with Rachel Soanes, a member of the Board of Directors for Cloud Security Alliance, about how to keep your information safe in a time like now — here’s what she had to say!
In today’s environment, everything can be accessed online, from your bank account, to your home video system (Ring), to your child's school accounts...on and on.
Threat actors know this as well, which puts all of us at risk! Below I have listed a few ways to keep you safe:
Create strong, unique passwords.
Each account should have it’s own password. Make it a passphrase vs a password to add length and complexity.
Change your default passwords.
Threat actors often will conduct an attack using known device default passwords. Unfortunately, consumers do not create individual passwords for their devices, which gives these attackers easy access.
Use a password manager.
Not many people can remember 100+ unique, strong passwords. These tools can be free and easy to use!
Turn on 2FA (two factor authentication).
Adding a secondary device to authenticate your site login will often stop hacks in their tracks!
Know what information is out there about you. Threat actors can and will use this information to conduct a social engineering scheme against you.
Turn on security settings for all things internet based.
You have power to limit what others can see - use it!
Some other ways to protect your information include:
Correctly dispose of personal information.
The Federal Trade of Commission recommends getting rid of all personal data on mobile devices and computers before disposing of them. This means wiping hard drives, resetting your information and settings on your mobile device, and disposing of your mobile SIM card properly.
Use WiFi wisely.
Make sure that your information is protected when you are using public WiFi at places like coffee shops, libraries, or hotels. Unless you’re using a secure wireless network, your information may not be protected.
Be mindful of scams.
Scams are pretty prevalent nowadays. Do not give out your financial information if something seems off — this could mean terms changing abruptly, things seeming too good to be true, an odd level of urgency, etc. A couple of us here at MoneyVerbs have almost been scammed trying to purchase pets, so be aware of “great” online deals for animals.
Limit what you share on social media.
This can be hard, especially in a time like now, but it’s important to think about what you’re sharing on social media before you hit the “post” button. Over-sharing could put your personal information into the wrong hands.
There’s not one specific thing that you can do to protect your information, but hopefully these tips and tricks give you a good idea of some habits to get into that will keep your data secure. Reach out to us If you have any questions on keeping your information secure!