The internet has changed the way we handle and store our personal data. Gone are the days of filing cabinets and home safes. With the advent of cloud storage, you can move terabytes of data to fairly secure cloud storage in a matter of minutes.
However, as with all forms of innovation, this data storage miracle is not without its cons — the most notable of which is getting hacked. Just as your filing cabinets and home safes are vulnerable to theft, your online data is also at risk.
Luckily there are a few steps you can take to reduce your chances of getting hacked. Let’s take a look at some of them:
Vary Your Passwords
By using similar passwords for all your online accounts, you run the risk of having your data compromised if a hacker gets hold of your password (which is easier than you might think). Use different passwords for different accounts and try not to use obvious passwords like your phone number or a loved one’s date of birth. If you are worried about forgetting your passwords, get a password manager.
Secure Your Wifi
Your Wifi network is usually the one network that connects all of your internet-enabled devices. This means if it gets compromised, all of your devices — including data storage devices — could get compromised. An easy counter to this is to change your Wifi password regularly and to update your router regularly also. If you don’t know how to find your Wifi password, check the back of your router or contact your internet provider. Updating your router helps you eliminate any bugs or loopholes that might have been present in the previous version of the router software.
Use an Antivirus
For some reason, people no longer place much emphasis on antiviruses despite the fact that we access more files and documents online now than ever before. Viruses continue to remain one of the top methods of attack for hackers. Therefore, you need to make sure that you have an active antivirus on your devices.
Reduce Your Digital Footprint
This closely straddles the line on digital paranoia but sometimes that’s the only thing keeping your data safe. So ask yourself, do you really need to be on all the internet platforms you are on? Is that email list really essential? Hackers mostly work through people, and joining dozens of unverified online platforms is a good way to expose yourself to hacking. So you need to reduce your digital footprint. Use only essential services. Don’t sign on to lists you can’t verify. And definitely don’t open unsolicited links and files.
Back-up Your Data
Despite everything we’ve said, there is still a good chance you might get hacked regardless. And that’s where a backup comes in. Backing up your data helps make sure that you never lose access to important data. However, the presence of a backup should not represent an opportunity to become reckless in your online activities.
We are our own greatest weakness when it comes to online security. This means it is almost completely up to you whether you are going to get hacked or not. With the above tips, you can reduce the chances of having your data exposed directly or indirectly, significantly. So what are you waiting for?