Safer Internet Day 2019 – ‘Together for a Better Internet’
29 January, 2019
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5 Simple Tricks to Check if Your Personal Data is Safe

Data theft is one of the most significant challenges resulting from the widespread use of the internet.

Despite the regular improvements in online data security systems, hacking incidents are still common. For example, just recently discovered data breach that touched 773 million emails. With the cases of stolen personal data increasing every day, it seems that this trend is set to continue. So, what can you do to control this menace?

The best way of safeguarding your confidential information is by taking the initiative yourself. This involves observing practices that reduce the vulnerability of such data. The following are 5 tricks to maintain the safety of your data, especially online.

 

What does Google Know about You?

If you use any Google product, the company collects your data with the objective of affording a personalized experience in your subsequent visits. Google discloses the extent of data it collects as well as its intended purpose. Some of the information it gathers include your name, age, gender, workplace, home location, chill spots, and places you frequent and so on.

You can partially or entirely restrict Google from accessing your personal data. The Privacy Checkup tool allows you to adjust the data you want to share with Google and the public. Alternatively, you can block the mining of your data by switching everything off on the Activity Page of your Google account.

 

Observe the Basics of Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity refers to the practices used to safeguard computer networks from malicious attacks. On a personal level, you can reduce the vulnerability of your information to such attacks by using strong passwords and multi-factor authentication.

When creating a password, it is recommended to use a combination of alphabets (both cases), numbers and special symbols. This makes it harder for hackers to crack the code using brute force. You should also avoid choosing a password that is easy to guess. Such include your pet name, birthday, phone number etc.

Implementing multi-factor authentication can also boost the security of your private data. This mechanism requires a user to provide at least two different forms of login credentials before gaining access into the system. For instance, you might be required to provide a PIN followed by fingerprint verification.

 

Social Media Safety Tips

Social media platforms are targeted by cybercriminals because of the ease of data mining. Below are some tips to keep you safe from scammers on social websites:

— Avoid sharing sensitive personal data. If anybody asks for such information, you can verify their legitimacy by using a reverse phone lookup service that reveals the identity of an individual using their phone number.

— Configure the privacy policy for your social profile. This enables you to choose who is allowed to see your personal information.

— Check the security of links before clicking them.

— Install and regularly update your web antivirus software. This prevents hackers from remotely accessing information stored on your computer.

 

Using Online Tools to Monitor Mentions

Another way of improving the security of your private data is through monitoring mentions on you across digital world. There are various online tools to do it.

These tools are a convenient alternative to manually tracking the mentions. The most popular tools for managing online reputation include Social Mention, Google Alerts, and Review Push. They are used mostly for business purposes, but for occasional check up on your personal data they would work as well.

 

Using Secure Messengers and Social Networks

The growing concerns over the security of information transmitted over the internet have inspired developers to create messaging platforms secured by high-level encryption. This means that hackers can’t read the messages even if they breach the network.

The top 5 secure messaging apps are Facebook Messenger, Telegram, WhatsApp, Silence, and Signal. If you want your conversations to remain private, having at least one of these apps is a must.

 

Conclusion

At the hands of the wrong people, your personal information can be used for criminal purposes. It can also be used to steal from you. For this reason, it is mandatory to protect such information in the best possible way.

Because the primary guardian of your data is you, you should ensure that you observe the tips mentioned above to guarantee the safety of such sensitive information. In addition, you should ensure that you uphold the same standards of security you practice online in protecting offline information. It’s as simple as that!