In a technology-centered world, keeping your information and finances safe can seem like an impossible task. To better protect you, we’ve put together a quick guide on how to control who sees your data.
- Use the privacy tools on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media to restrict the sharing of your personal data to only those who need to see it.
- Your password is your first line of defense for your private data. Make sure passwords are long, complex, and unique to you. Be mindful to not reuse passwords across multiple sites and to not store passwords on post-it notes or on your desktop. Instead, consider investing in a password manager, which can be used to safely store this information.
- Download apps from reliable sources, pay attention to desktop and mobile app permissions for privacy policies and unwarranted data collection when you install them, and uninstall unused apps.
- Include multi-factor authentication whenever possible, to force accounts to make sure it’s really you that’s logging in.
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS are typically enabled all the time on most people’s mobile devices. This invites cybercriminals to connect to your device in public places. Disable the services when you’re not using them.
- Public WiFi is unsafe when there’s no password for access—and even then, WiFi hotspots can be used by nearby hackers to steal your data. Always use a personal VPN when you’re on public WiFi.
- When you delete sensitive files, use a data deletion program to securely overwrite the file sectors on your disk, so they can’t be recovered.
- Every day, people fall victim to fraudulent emails, texts, and calls from scammers who impersonate others, such as bank employees. Always be on the lookout for phishing red flags.
- Limiting sharing though privacy settings is not fool proof, so you should still be cognizant of what you’re sharing. Details about your life can be used by hackers to answer the challenge questions on various accounts and give them access to everything from your Instagram account to your checking account.
- Never post your full name, Social Security number, address, phone number, PIN or account numbers on publicly accessible sites.
- Social media networks come and go. When you decide you’re no longer interested in one, make sure you fully delete your account so that your data is no longer in their hands.
- If your devices are lost or stolen, your personal data is quite literally in the wrong hands. Passwords on devices can deter thieves, and there are settings that will erase all your data from devices if an incorrect password is entered too many times.
- Whether you choose software (such as a cloud-based service) or hardware (such as an external hard drive), make sure you have your data backed up to a secure space. This helps lower the risk of ransomware, when hackers will hold your data hostage for a ransom.
- To protect your account from International debit card fraud, foreign transactions may not process without specific authorization from you. Notify your financial institutions if you travel abroad.
- Do not write your PIN on your card, always be aware of your surroundings when at an ATM, have your card ready when approaching the machine, put your money away immediately and count it later, and don’t let anyone see you enter your PIN.