7 Tips to Keep Your Data Safe Online

Our Top 7 Tips to Keep Your Data Safe Online

Cybersecurity is important and more relevant than ever. As our time online has increased significantly over the last 2+ years, more of your data is being shared. Below are our tips for preventing your personal data from falling into the wrong hands.

1. Change your passwords on a regular basis and be sure they are complex.

  • Gone are the days when a noun and a few numbers created a strong password. Lengthen your passwords, add special characters, and use capital letters. You can use a tool like https://www.security.org/how-secure-is-my-password/ to find out how secure your passwords are.
  • Never use the same password on multiple websites or accounts.  It can be difficult to remember many strong passwords so we recommend using a trusted password manager to help you retrieve a password at a moment’s notice.

2. Enable “2 Factor or Dual Authentication” to log into websites.

  • Two-factor authentication (2FA or DFA) is a security system that requires two distinct forms of identification to fully log in. After you have entered your password, a push notification is sent to your phone or email to verify that the login attempt is legitimate. DFA can also help alert you if someone has your username and password and is attempting to access your account.

3. Disable “Location Services” on as many of your phone apps as possible.

  • Some apps will need your location to function properly, such as weather apps and navigation apps. Other applications, however, use location to track you for their own marketing data. You can disable your location services on both iPhones and Android phones.

4. Regularly update your software.

  • In addition to adding new features, software updates are created to fix known issues and upgrade security. The older your software is, the more time hackers have had to find vulnerabilities. By updating your apps and software, you will prevent malware or hackers from exploiting those security weaknesses.

5. Don’t save your credit card information on any website.

  • You’re more susceptible to fraud when you store your credit card information on a website. If someone were to figure out your login, they will have immediate access to your payment information and contact information as well. Plus, not saving your credit cards can help prevent impulse purchases!

6. Be careful on social media.

  • Hackers can learn a lot of information about you from social media. Do not be specific in listing personal information on any social media platform as it is a floodgate for hackers. For example, if you have your hometown listed on your Facebook profile, it would be simple for a hacker to figure out which high school you attended, which is a common security question.

7. Do not use public Wi-Fi.

  • When you are connected to a public network, you are sharing that network with everyone else who is also connected. Any information you send or retrieve on the network is vulnerable. Use a VPN or your cell phone’s “hot spot” whenever possible.

At Howland Capital, we take your safety seriously and hope you incorporate these tips into your online habits. Together, we can protect ourselves online!

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