Today (January 28) is Data Privacy Day. Staying safe in today’s ever expanding digital world is tough, but it is possible. And most safety precautions are more about staying organized and aware than they are about knowing the ins and outs of the latest and greatest technology. In the world of cybersecurity, a little vigilance can go along way. You and your Military Family’s personal information is of the utmost importance. Shouldn’t keeping that info private be just as important?
Seemingly everything now, from our cars to our blenders, come Wi-Fi equipped. Every new Wi-Fi device presents a potential port of entry for hackers. Unfortunately, some of the companies we think we can trust aren’t always holding up their end of the bargain when it comes to data security. Shopping the sales is great, but at what cost?! A good bogo deal just isn’t worth forfeiting your personal information. Companies that suffered data breaches in 2018 include:
So if Adidas and Delta and Facebook and Ticketfly can’t stay safe, then is there any hope for MilFams? Well, yes there is. And here’s how you start…
1. Ditch the Sticky Note
In today’s world of constant eCommerce, it seems like every website is asking you to create an account before you can do anything. Whether you’re trying to keep track of 1 or 100 passwords, the old sticky note is no longer the best way to go.
Apps such as LastPass and 1Password make it easy to find all the accounts you have floating out in the Internet. Plus, you can change and store any of your various passwords right from the app. Now you won’t spend 15 minutes trying to guess the password for your light bill.
2. Update Your Device
Aside from having all the latest emojis from the most recent iPhone update, there’s a lot of value in updating your devices on time. Usually, software or system updates include patches or fixes to some recently discovered security bugs.
At the very least, updating your device will ensure it has the most current protections in place against any malicious attackers. Simply put, out of date technology is easier to exploit than up to date technology.
3. Don’t Trust Free Wi-Fi
While we all love a good free Wi-Fi surprise, finding some free bars of service might not always be worth it. Simply browsing the Web is no big deal, but if you need to do some personal banking or online shopping, stay on a private network.
Public Wi-Fi networks are inherently a bit more dangerous just because you don’t know everyone else who’s on them. One good way to check if the website you’re on is safe is to look for a padlock to the left of the URL. If it’s there, you have a secure connection. If not, try again later.
4. Make It Even Harder for the Hackers
If you really want to make sure your data is safe, you can always use two-factor authentication (2FA). Much like the name implies, 2FA includes one additional step beyond a username and password to protect your accounts and info.
It could be an additional password, a pin, an SMS code, a fingerprint scan, or any number of other options. Google, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft all offer 2FA options for users that want just a little more protection and peace of mind.
5. Back It Up
You know those annoying phone notifications: “This device has not been back up in 74 weeks”. Yeah. we all get them. But next time, don’t be so quick to dismiss it. Backing up data may seem bit confusing or like a complete waste of time.
When your computer has a virus or your hard drive crashed, though, you’ll be thanking the heavens you took the time to figure it out. You can use an external hard drive or explore the cloud, but backing up is a must.
While these tips are a good place to start for any Military Spouse or Military Family, there’s plenty more you can be doing to keep your data safe. StaySafeOnline has a ton of great resources with expert information and advice. From insight on managing your privacy settings to a library of free online security tools, StaySafeOnline will help answer any and all of your online security questions.
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