Five Tips to Keep Hackers at Bay
I have always heard stories about data theft and hacking, but this past week made me question how safe my data actually is. This week, I had to submit a video project to my Spanish teacher. The file was large, so I needed to use a flash drive. Yet, when I gave my teacher the flash drive, I saw that she was perusing other files completely unrelated to my project. This surprised and concerned me, so I thought to myself- Is my data really safe?
Data security is a legitimate issue, and if you don’t take it seriously, it could put you at great risks. With social media and mobile banking at the tip of your fingertips, the risks and consequences of losing your data are startling. Follow these five tips to ensure your data is safe:
1. Create strong passwords
The names of your dogs, your birthday, or your favorite sport aren’t passwords that will prevent hackers from stealing or corrupting your data. Try to be a bit more creative; after all, these passwords are what stand between you, hackers, and your most private data. Your social media profiles and your mobile banking should be protected and highly secure, and your password is the first step in ensuring this process. Include capitalization, letters, numbers, and symbols to create the most secure passwords possible. And with passwords, the more characters you use the better.
2. Back up your data frequently
Backing up your data is now easier than ever with the convenience of iCloud, Dropbox, and other online mediums. Take advantage of these storage opportunities by backing up your data more frequently. This doesn’t mean that you should automate your back-up system, but you should make the effort to personally upload your data. You will be less likely to lose any data, and logging in to these sites frequently will serve as a way for you to monitor your data. This is especially important for your finances because monitoring your finances keeps you up-to-date on your accounts and makes you aware of any purchases you made. Mobile apps can also help you track possible fraud because it allows you to view any purchases you make.
3. Install Updates
I’m sure you can remember the last time you pressed “Remind me later” when your phone or computer wanted to download a new update. Yet, the problem with this approach is the convenience is not always the safest answer. Many companies release these software updates to protect you from unknown risks. To make sure you are not susceptible to these unknown risks, make sure you download these updates or security fixes as soon as they become available.
4. Privacy Settings are a Must-Have
If you’re like me, then you are not a stranger to social media. Yet, social media can be dangerous if you’re not vigilant. Take the time to go to security or privacy settings. Creating privacy settings doesn’t mean that no one will ever see what you’re posting, so be careful. It just means that you can choose who can see what you post. This can protect you from online stalkers, strangers, and hackers down the line.
My name is Megan Hammond, and I am an aspiring writer, blogger, and entrepreneur. As a senior in high school, I am involved in a wide array of activities ranging from the National Honor Society to Campus Ministry to the figure skating team. When I am not in the classroom, I am likely working. My passion for figure skating transcends beyond my personal goals, and I enjoy teaching figure skating at USA Hockey Arena.
During my free time, I am typically reading or writing. I am passionate about English and Spanish, and I spend my free time trying to improve my skills in these areas. When I’m not reading or writing, I am usually working on new graphic design projects in Photoshop. I hope that I can put all of these skills to use as I pursue a career in marketing.
Photo Credit: Mahdi Gransberry