Unfortunately, our mobile devices make it even easier for our information to be stolen or hacked. Whether someone physically steals your smartphone or hacks into your device on public Wi-Fi, the possibility of losing your information is always there. Good news is, there are plenty of ways to protect your data. Here are 5 tips that are easy to incorporate into your digital routine.
Practice safe Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi lets mobile workers create an office on the go and helps keep our data charges at bay by tapping into another network, but use caution when connecting to these hot spots. Many are unencrypted, meaning there is zero security between the information on your device and hackers waiting to steal it. Before joining a network, always confirm the name to make sure you’re not joining fake Wi-Fi set up to lure you in. Turn off automatic connections on your device, making sure you never join an unsafe network. And never turn on sharing when connected to public Wi-Fi. You want to make it difficult for threats to access your information, not easy.
Keep your passwords strong
It’s very obvious, but don’t make your password “Password123” just to keep it easy to remember. Incorporate numbers, symbols and capitalized letters—as many as you can depending on the password requirements. Also keep in mind that your information is more secure when you use different passwords for every account. That way, if someone gets into your email, they don’t have access to your bank, credit cards and other important information. And while we’re on the subject, never save your passwords either—it will keep you from giving hackers complete access to your identity.
Lock it up
We lock our houses. We lock our vehicles. So why wouldn’t we lock the one device that houses some of our most important data? Set passwords for access to your operating system, certain files or applications. You’d be surprised how many people innocently leave their laptops open and unlocked in a public space to run to the restroom or order another cappuccino. Easy pickings for a cybercriminal. You can even literally lock your laptop to other objects, guaranteeing no thieves run off with your hardware.
Update, update, update
Your device’s security status changes with each update of your OS and iOS. When you slack on updating, you’re slacking on giving your device the protection it needs, so make sure you keep your technology up to date—not just to keep those apps running smoothly, but to make sure your information is safe and sound.
Never forget the ‘S’
Use Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure, or HTTPS, when browsing the web. This secure version of HTTP encrypts everything you do in your browser, protecting information like banking passwords and credit card numbers. And always check to make sure websites that ask for sensitive information (like credit card numbers and personal identification) have the S. It’s more important than you think.