These days it seems as though everyone’s personal data is merely a few clicks away. We live a lot of our lives online and give up large amounts of information and data without knowing. Even those who are careful to keep their personal details offline might be surprised at just how much information on them is available.
If you ever wanted to know how many of your personal details are readily accessible online, run a background check on yourself . Once background checking tools can uncover all sorts of details. These include criminal records, employment history, education history, and even your credit score. If you want to protect your data and keep it from appearing online, there are steps you can take.
In this guide, we’ll be discussing the different ways you can keep your data secure. Here you’ll find plenty of tips from industry experts on how to stay safe online. There’s also information on preventing your personal information from becoming publicly accessible.
Use Trusted Passwords or Authentication
Always choose a strong password, ideally one that isn’t a common word. Your passwords should have a combination of numbers, letters, and other symbols to make them harder to crack. Use a completely unique password for each site and use a password manager if you have trouble remembering them. Some websites also offer the use of an authentication service, usually using your mobile phone. When you try to log in on an unrecognized device, the site will lock your account and send a code to your phone. This can sometimes make the log-in process slightly slower, but it’s worth it for the added security. Use authentication on sites that contain your personal or payment details.
Encrypt and Backup Your Files
We all likely have lots of important files on our computers and phones. Whether they’re photo albums full of cherished memories or personal or professional projects you’ve been working on, it would be terrible to lose them. Encrypting your files means they need permission to access and keeps them safe. Backing up your files, preferably to an offline storage device, means that you have copies should anything happen to the original. If you’re constantly updating your files, make sure you also produce regular backups to keep the files safe.
Be Careful with What You Share Online
Most people these days use social media, and that’s fine, but you should be mindful of what you share. There is a lot of data, such as details about your location that a picture or a simple status update can reveal. You should always check your privacy settings. Make sure that your details, particularly phone numbers and other contact information, aren’t visible. Being connected all the time can be useful, but you should weigh up the advantages and disadvantages before you post. Do you gain enough out of it to make it worthwhile to give up some of your privacy?
Avoid Using Public WiFi Networks
Public WiFi networks can be handy when you’re out and need to download something. However, they can also pose a security risk to your device and any data stored on it. You should definitely avoid sharing sensitive information when using a public WiFi network. It would also help if you were careful of anything you download. Public networks are a great way for someone with bad intentions to access your phone or distribute malware to your device. If you are using a public network, be cautious about what you’re doing and what someone might be able to access. Try to stick to your data plan when possible, and be sure to run an antivirus scan after using public WiFi.
Opt-Out of Websites That Ask to Share Your Personal Data
Nearly all commercial websites are now required by law to show you how they use their data. Many states and countries around the world also now require a website to tell you if it intends to sell your data to a third party. You usually have the option of accepting this or opting out. You can also choose simply not to use a website if you think they’re misusing your data. It is your data, after all. You can also check what kind of settings you have on each website and always read through any terms and conditions when you sign up.