To keep yourself safe in today’s digital environment, you need to go out of your way to secure your personal devices at home. With a combination of security software, protective physical measures and exercised caution, you can ensure your confidential data remains under lock and key. To help boost your approach to safeguarding your personal data, implement some of these tips.
Lock Down Your Network
Place unique and strong passwords on your router and wireless network. Change your router’s default password to help prevent malicious users from accessing administrator settings on your router. You will want to do the same when it comes to the wireless network to prevent unauthorized users from accessing your WiFi. Maintain a zero trust approach to keep your network secure via frequent monitoring of devices accessing your network, boosted password security, and overall vigilance.
Secure Your Devices and Accounts
Always use passwords on all of your devices to help keep them safe. Select complex, unique passwords for all of your online accounts as well. Make sure you avoid passwords that would be easy to guess, such as a PIN for your phone that consists of your birthday or using the street you live on as the password for your laptop.
Due to digital accounts being typically linked over multiple devices, you will want to be just as vigilant about protecting your phone’s security as you are with your personal computer. Aim for lengthy passwords that combine both upper- and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. To increase your security even more, consider using two-factor authentication to add an additional layer of security to important accounts.
Display Caution on Public Devices
If you have to access your personal online accounts on a public device, never allow the device’s browser to save your login information. Make sure you use the private browsing function (such as Google Chrome’s incognito mode) to access your accounts to keep your browsing history from being stored on the device you are using. Always deny authorization if the browser asks if it should save your login information for future use. After you are finished with your session, make sure you completely log out of every site you logged into. Never leave yourself logged into any accounts on any device that isn’t yours, even if it belongs to a trusted friend or family member.
Don’t Give Out Your Passwords
Never give out your passwords to your personal accounts even if your friends or family request them. If you create an account that is to be shared within a family household, avoid using the same password or security questions that you have used for your personal accounts.
Install Anti-Malware Programs
Anti-malware software, also commonly called antivirus software helps protect your computer from malicious activity such as viruses. Make sure you have an antivirus program installed on your device to help protect against everyday cybersecurity threats such as unsafe email attachments, keyloggers and spyware. Keep your selected antivirus software up to date to make sure your device stays protected against the latest malware.
Keep an Eye on Your Devices
Never leave your devices unattended when you are outside of your home. Take your laptop with you if you need to take a quick restroom break while studying at the local coffeehouse. Don’t leave your phone unsecured at your desk when you leave the office to grab something from your car. There are many methods malicious users can utilize to access your confidential data if they are able to physically access your device even if they do not know your personal passwords and PINs.
Use Privacy Filters in Public Spaces
If you are browsing confidential data or accounts on your laptop in a public space, consider investing in a privacy screen. Privacy screens help make it difficult for others around you to see what’s on your laptop screen while allowing you to still see the laptop display clearly. With care, caution and research, you can keep your computer and personal data safe.