As working and socializing moves online, people have become more concerned with online security and privacy. A recent study revealed that 55% of respondents ranked the theft of their personal data as a top concern. Concern over the loss of personal data topped the loss of keys, wallets and even mobile phones.

People can easily replace physical items like wallets but having your information released online can have devastating consequences. Such consequences can include financial and reputational damage. Not only that, but you could be putting other people’s data at risk. Approximately 2.6 billion records have already been exposed this year. You need to consistently protect yourself online.

online security and privacy

Source: Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

7 Ways to Protect Yourself Online

Protect your devices

Whether you use your mobile, laptop or desktop computer, you need to protect it. These devices are the endpoints hackers will use to get into your network. Make sure they have anti-virus software installed and data encryption. Included in this point is the physical security of these devices. Your devices should always be in your sight.

Secure your communication

In addition to data encryption, you should be encrypting your messages and emails.

Delete old accounts

If you are no longer using an account, delete it. If a hacker manages to get into your old account, they can access the data associated with it.

Watch what you share

This is probably common sense, but the freedom of the Internet can lead people to share more than they should. People can be easily duped into sharing personal information under the guise of participating in online activities, such as answering seemingly innocuous questions. In the Cambridge Analytica scandal with Facebook, they managed to harvest data on millions of users using quiz apps. Know that if you share personal information online, you put yourself at risk to being hacked or having that data stolen.

Stay alert

Keep up-to-date with the latest information regarding cybersecurity. This includes the latest phishing tactics or recently disclosed breaches. One good way to do this is to setup Google alerts on topics such as data breaches and hacking. Cyber threats affect everyone, whether they know it or not.

Lock your devices

Lock your devices when you’re not using them. This includes when you step away from your desktop computer.

Practice good password strategy

Passwords are the keys to your data. This is why it’s important to have a complex password. In addition, consider using multi-factor authentication. Multi-factor authentication is an additional layer to the log in process. You could use an extra physical key to log in or a code that is texted to your mobile. Reddit was recently hacked because employees didn’t set up two factor authentication.

To keep up-to-date with your online security and privacy, consider Jolera’s Secure IT services.