5 Facts You Need to Know About Data Security

4 min

Let’s face it: your personal data spans the internet. Most of us do banking online, share an array of personal photos, boast about our businesses and work on social media, shop online, and more. Basically, we can do anything and everything online. So hackers, government agencies, advertisement companies, and creepy stalkers can easily learn anything that they want to know about you.

Point blank: the internet is creepy, weird, and you need to protect your data. Don’t think it’s possible? Think again. It’s definitely possible! How? We will tell you all about it throughout this article!

Read on to find out the 5 facts you need to know about data security—and don’t forget to pay attention to the tips and tricks detailing how to protect your privacy online!

1. Watch out for tailor-made ads

Do you like logging onto Facebook and seeing an ad related to a private text-chat conversation you had the night before? If you’re online, companies can collect your personal data. They track your browser history via cookies. And as a result, they get to know your likes and dislikes. Creepy, right?

It gets worse.

Who takes the time to read lengthy Terms & Conditions? Most of us don’t. But we need to. When you press agree, you may give companies permission to access personal data.

Oh, Facebook and Google use your information, too. Basically, anyone can create a secret profile out of your personal data, so be wary about what you share and search online. Thankfully, there are ways to heighten your data security.

How can you protect yourself?

  1. Clear your cookies! You can use CCleaner to do this—and it’ll help your computer run better, too. It’s a win-win.
  2. Read Terms & Conditions—it may be boring, but it’s important to know which data they will or will not collect.
  3. Check out your privacy settings on Facebook—you can always make your account more private.
  4. Encrypt your text messages! There are numerous apps that provide a safe, free, and encrypted messaging system.

2. Identity theft can happen to anyone

What is online privacy? It’s many, many things. The main thing? It’s about protecting your online data. Unfortunately, we are all vulnerable to hackers. Yes, even us nobody’s dwelling in the corners of the internet.

That’s right. Hackers have found innovative, subtle ways to get into your account. One of the latest hacking methods? SIM-jackers. This is how it works:

SIM-jackers find people online and get to know them via social media. They may pretend to express interest in their work or show interest in them personally. After they get to know each other, the jackers ask for a phone number. By this time, they already know basic details about their victim.

Then they contact network companies and use personal information to switch the victim’s number to another SIM card. Once this is complete, the SIM-jacker changes their victim’s passwords and accesses their banking and other personal accounts.

Want to know the scary part? You don’t need to be technologically savvy to be a SIM-jacker. Anyone can do it. You need to protect yourself—especially when you consider these stats:

Security Ninja states that hackers attack someone every 39 seconds! But on the other hand, 93% of hacks could have easily been prevented.

How can you protect yourself?

1. Check out your online presence! How can you do this? A website like Nuwber can help you see which personal details you have online. Just type your name into the search bar, and your personal details will pop up. Nuwber will reveal what they know about you (social media presence, criminal records, driving records, home address, and more). It’s important to know that anyone can access this data, so if you don’t like what you see, you can opt to remove it.

2. Remove your information from people search sites. You can use OneRep to hide your records from the public eye.

3. Don’t give away your phone number or any personal information! Do your best to remove personal information on your social media accounts, dating apps, and websites. And don’t give out your phone number to just anyone. Stranger danger doesn’t go away with adulthood!

4. Create a fake email address. It’s best to use a different email address for your social media accounts and other websites. This way you can separate your private work from the public. It’s also advisable to use a different name on social media—it doesn’t have to be completely different, but consider using a nickname or your middle name.

3. Try to avoid using the same password over and over

It can be annoying having to memorize a long password. And it can be extra annoying to create a separate long password for your various online accounts. But is it worth it? Yes. Yes, it is. Using the same password for all of your accounts makes it super easy for hackers to access all of your personal data. And creating a lengthy password helps to protect your data, too.

Take a look at this fact:

Better Buys declares that a password with seven characters only takes .29 milliseconds to hack, but a password with 12 characters can take up to two centuries to crack.

How can you protect yourself?

  1. Captain obvious here: Better Buys says to create a 12-character password with capital and lower-case letters, symbols, and numbers.
  2. Create a separate password for each personal account. Scared you’ll forget all of your passwords? Pay attention to the next point.
  3. An app like 1Password can help you manage and remember your passwords. Thankfully, they focus on security. The website states: “Every design decision in 1Password begins with the safety and privacy of your data in mind.”
  4. Use two-step verification! How does this work? First, you log-in with your regular password and then you will receive another password via text message.

4. Don’t avoid software updates

You may hate the thought of waiting for your phone or computer to update, but it’s worth it. More often than not, new updates come with heightened security. The more you update, the more secure your data will be!

How can you protect yourself?

1. This one’s simple and straightforward: update your browsers!

5. Be aware of the dangers of free wifi

We all love free WiFi! But it comes with a price. Open WiFi makes you vulnerable to hackers. So how can you work in a coffee shop without worrying about someone hacking your accounts via an open network? Let’s take a look.

How can you protect yourself?

1. Use a virtual private network (VPN). It can help to provide data security. However, it won’t protect you from malware or viruses.

2. Make sure you use secure browsing! You can easily switch to secure browsing via your settings. You will know it’s working when your search bar displays “https.”

In conclusion

It’s essential to protect your privacy online! We hope you take the time to follow the data security tips mentioned above. Remember: we are all vulnerable to hackers. Nowadays, hackers target everyone and not just massive corporations. It’s scary, but it’s possible to protect your privacy!

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