Tips from tech experts to keep your account safe
Keeping your accounts safe, whether online or offline, is one of the most important things you should prioritize. Whether it’s your Facebook, online banking, or messaging account, you should be aware of the things you need to do to keep your accounts safe from hackers.
Nowadays, hackers and fraudsters have become more advanced when it comes to breaching accounts. Fortunately, some organizations help prevent the proliferation of hacking and theft identity incidents. So, if you’re interested in keeping your accounts safe from any form of attack that can compromise your safety on your online and offline accounts, here are some of the tips we can give you:
Use data encryption when visiting sites
One of the latest technologies used to improve security is encryption. This tool has been used by IT experts to add an extra layer of security on sites and applications from falling prey to hackers. According to an expert, John Naughton, encryption is a set of algorithms that can encrypt, decrypt, and sign and verify emails through an Open PGP Standard.
‘Encryption used to be the sole province of geeks and mathematicians, but a lot has changed in recent years. In particular, various publicly available tools have taken the rocket science out of encrypting (and decrypting) email and files. GPG for Mail, for example, is an open-source plug-in for the Apple Mail program that makes it easy to encrypt, decrypt, sign and verify emails using the OpenPGP standard’, said John.
However, note that data encryption won’t protect you from government authorities according to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.
Always backup your data
One of the most overlooked techniques in protecting yourself and your identity is backing up your data. If you have a device, make sure you keep all your information in a cloud or an extra copy somewhere to make sure that you don’t lose all the information you need. Moreover, doing this helps you from spending too much when you retrieve the data you’ve lost.
You can easily do this by downloading a third party app where you can store data such as photos, videos, and documents. This is also good advice to follow especially if you own a small business.
According to the US Chamber of Commerce and Insurance Company, the longer you restore your data, the more money you’ll end up losing.
Invest in anti-malware on your devices
Scammers and hackers use complex technologies to employ malware that can damage your computer and corrupt your files. If your device or gadget is not protected by a good antivirus, it can be easily breached by hackers and steal your information.
According to an IT expert, Clark Howard, he classified malware as any item of programs that can enter your computer and wreak havoc to the system.
‘Malware (short for malicious software) is software designed to infiltrate or damage a computer without your consent. Malware includes computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, spyware, scareware and more. It can be present on websites and emails, or hidden in downloadable files, photos, videos, freeware or shareware’, says Howard.
If you want to check if your laptop or device has a virus, make sure you run regular scans of antivirus software. Additionally, make sure you don’t open unverified sites that are not encrypted. Opening and downloading emails and links from unknown sources is also something you should avoid to prevent malware.
Make your laptop’s hard drive unreadable
When you’re disposing of an old computer, make sure you dispose of the hard drive properly. Usually, an old hard drive can still be used and accessed. So, if you’re planning to change your computer, make sure that your old one is unreliable. According to the Florida Office of the Attorney General, you need to make sure that all your hard drives are clean and free of personal information that can be used by other people.
‘Make old computers’ hard drives unreadable. After you back up your data and transfer the files elsewhere, you should sanitize by disk shredding, magnetically cleaning the disk, or using software to wipe the disk clean. Destroy old computer disks and backup tapes, according to the Attorney General’s tweet.
Always update your device’s operating system
Updating your OS may be a pain in the ass, but they serve a purpose that keeps your device safe, especially in the security area. Additionally, updating your operating system keeps your devices at their best performance as well as updating the apps you’re using.
Set your software’s update to automatic
Setting your software’s update to automatic is one of the most important things you can do for your information security. The Privacy Rights Org said that making your device’s update schedule automatic lessen the risk of your device getting hacked.
‘No matter which operating system you use, it’s important that you update it regularly. Windows operating systems are typically updated at least monthly, typically on so-called ‘Patch Tuesday.’ Other operating systems may not be updated quite as frequently or on a regular schedule. It’s best to set your operating system to update automatically. The method for doing so will vary depending upon your particular operating system’, said the Privacy Rights Org.
Use a firewall
This information may be new to some people, but firewalls help your devices to block dangerous programs and accounts you encounter.
According to Geek Squad, ‘Firewalls assist in blocking dangerous programs, viruses or spyware before they infiltrate your system. Various software companies offer firewall protection, but hardware-based firewalls, like those frequently built into network routers, provide a better level of security.
This means that even if you don’t have updated antivirus, firewalls can also help prevent online breaches on your devices.
Don’t log your information to public devices
One of the most common mistakes people make is that they log in their information on public devices. When you do this, you’re increasing the risk of your information getting leaked.
According to Indiana University, users should always make sure that when you’re using computers in places such as libraries, you delete the information on the pages you visited.
Use a strong password for all your accounts
According to SANS Awareness, using passphrases instead of regular passwords are much safer for people who want to increase their account’s security.
‘We recommend you use passphrases–a series of random words or a sentence. The more characters your passphrase has, the stronger it is. The advantage is these are much easier to remember and type, but still hard for cyber attackers to hack’.
Don’t save your password on any device
One of the most important things you can do to protect your information is to avoid saving your password across the devices you use. Additionally, avoid writing your passwords on notebooks, post-its, and other places that you can misplace.
Additionally, if you’re logging on to apps such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram make sure you don’t leave the password logged in so it won’t put your account at risk.
‘Make sure that you share some of your folders only on the home network. If you don’t need your files to be visible to other machines, disable file and media sharing completely’, according to Kaspersky.
Always overwrite deleted files
One of the most important things you should remember is that you overwrite important files once you delete them. Doing this can prevent hackers from recovering sensitive items you’ve already deleted. If you’re going to dispose of an old device, always make it to a point to overwrite or ask experts to do it for you.
Always configure your privacy settings
One of the things you can do to protect your data is to configure your app and privacy settings. According to Casy Chin from Wired magazine, double-checking the apps you use can help prevent the other sites from collecting personal data from you.
‘You probably spend a lot of your day inside apps: catching up on the news, playing music and movies, keeping in touch with friends, racing cartoon characters around a track, and so on. Every once in a while though, it’s worth running an audit on these apps to make sure they’re not overreaching and going beyond their remit—collecting more data about you and controlling more of your devices than you’d like, said Chin.
Use remote monitoring and device wiping features
Updating your device with safety apps isn’t enough. You should enable features such as remote monitoring and device wiping features that ensure your data privacy even if you lose your device. According to Kim Komando, doing this can help you instantly wipe your data in your gadgets if it falls into the wrong hands.
More information about data privacy is available on Showcaller’s website. Subscribe to our page now and stay updated with the latest trends in tech.