Your everyday activities determine your exposure to getting your private and personal information stolen. There are many such activities, which seem obvious but can go a long way in keeping you and your personal information safe and secure.
Here are 7 of such common mistakes, which you should stop and now is the time!
1. Using the Same Password Everywhere
Major corporations spend billions everywhere to keep their system and data secure. However, every now and then you hear about data breach. Some of the recent ones include Target, Yahoo, Adobe, Facebook, LinkedIn and many more. If hackers can steal data from such heavy weight corporations, did you ever wonder how easy it would be for them to steal your data?
Using the same password everywhere will manifold your exposure to such breach. Mix-up your passwords, and never reuse the same password twice. Also remember that your Facebook or Google password does not need to be the same as your Banking passwords.
2. Not Updating Software
One of the regular feature of software updates is to fix security vulnerabilities. Make sure you keep current with the upgrades, especially the software upgrades. Next time you see a software upgrade notification, do it before blink of an eye.
3. Disabling Your Firewall and Antivirus
Antivirus software and firewall settings can be nagging at times. What you need to remember is that they are your first life of defense. When a particular software of service does not work due to firewall or antivirus installed – make sure that you fix that issue instead of disabling your firewall and antivirus. Disabling your firewall or antivirus is an easy path to take, but it will leave you exposed.
Our recommendations for security software are AVG (desktop/laptop antivirus), ZoneAlarm (desktop/laptop firewall), and Lookout Security (smartphone/tablet antivirus/firewall), all of which have free versions available.
4. Ignoring App Permissions
You phone would have tons of apps installed. To give you the best experience, they seek all possible permissions Ever wondered why Candy Crush needs your location data? why Huffington Post needs to know who your friends are? They probably need to improve their offerings and to upsell. Think again – they don’t need this information and a data breach in their system will leave you exposed.
5. Not Protecting Your Smartphone, Tablet or Laptop
Our laptops, smartphones and tablets are filled with our personal information. There isn’t much you can do in case of a theft – all you can do is to try and prevent it beforehand but once it has happened – it has happened. You should be smart enough to password protect all the sensitive information.
When you trade your phone, tablet or smart phone for a new one, you need to erase your personal info first. Format the disk or use the “One Pass Zero” method, which not only erases the data, but overwrites it with a series of zeros.
6. Not Using 2-Step Verification
Reset password has come a long way and is much more secure now – All major services like Facebook, Apple, Google have enabled a 2-step verification to make it only for the “real” owners. Set up your accounts to send you a text, require an authentication code, etc. when accessed outside of your personal devices and home network.
7. Connecting to Public Networks without a VPN
Most of the organizations now offer free public Wi-Fi networks. It is very easy to walk in to a McDonald’s, Starbucks, Kohls and connect to a Wi-Fi network. It is equally easy to expose your data in case of a compromised Wi-Fi network (read the disclosure before you check the agree button!). A virtual private network (VPN) secures your information while using these public networks.