Data breaches happen all the time. Sometimes, they come en masse, generating headlines and consternation. Between the big scandals, though, people have their financial data compromised every day. To avoid that happening to you, you need to be more careful than ever. These tips can help you protect your information and maintain security online.
1. Secure Passwords
Your password should never be a simple word or number combination. Use upper-case and lower-case letters, and include numbers and symbols. The more complex, the more you can prevent someone from guessing your password.
2. Secured Sites and Data Encryption
When you go to a site to make purchases, a site that begins with "https" should serve as a bare minimum for your security expectations. This signals that the site has been authenticated, and protects communications that transfer through it.
3. Secured Wi-Fi
Before you enter any payment or personal information into a website, you should use a secured connection that requires a password to access. Otherwise, you are potentially sharing with anyone else who has access.
4. Virus and Spyware Protection
You should update your virus and spyware protection regularly. If you ever see something suspicious, run a scan and clear your internet cache to help avoid and eliminate threats.
5. Don't Store Credit Cards
Many eCommerce sites allow you to store credit card information in their system. While this can be convenient, it also leaves your information sitting on a server entirely out of your control. Taking the time to enter card information each time is worth the effort for some peace of mind.
6. Check Privacy Settings
Your internet connection and your smartphone come with default settings for access. Before you shop, go in and adjust your settings as needed to ensure you are not sharing private financial data.
7. Secured Cloud Backup
One way to help protect yourself is to back up your data regularly. Cloud hosting providers allow you to save information without storing it on your own system. If you need to retrieve it, you can do so quickly and securely.
8. Multi-Factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication requires you to use your smartphone or another device to log into a secured site. It keeps others from being able to hack in merely by having your username and password.
9. Always Sign Out
Your computer and your phone give you the option of staying signed in to many eCommerce sites. Don't do it. When you sign out of a site, you close your session, keeping someone else from entering without your knowledge.
10. Careful Where You Click
Any time you see a pop-up or suspicious email, clicking it poses a risk. If it is offering something too good to be true, you should leave it alone. Restraint here can help prevent you from giving up information stored on your computer.
Protecting your information requires ongoing effort and vigilance. Focus on your security over minor improvements in convenience, and you can protect yourself better online.