Most people take steps to ensure their physical security. You may check to make sure your doors are locked before going to bed. Hopefully, you always buckle your seat belt Maybe you follow the advice on parking lots signs that urge you to “secure your valuables” before exiting your vehicle. These steps not only ensure your physical safety, they also protect your property- home, car, electronics, documents etc. But many people forget to safeguard their online data.
Take steps now to protect your personal information online.
Step 1: Recognize risky online activity
We’re told no to walk or run in unlit areas after dark. Why? Because this is risky behavior. Apply similar principles to your online activity. Identity theft and cyber crime is on the rise and you may be putting yourself at risk unintentionally. The first step to ensuring your safety is recognizing activities that may be putting your data in jeopardy. Educate yourself about online security and steps you should take.
Step 2: Take Control
Once you have identified risky activities, be proactive and minimize the danger.
- Don’t put your faith in website security- Often “free” websites like Facebook sell the information you provide. Remember, these sites are businesses even though we don’t tend to think of them in that context. Review your accounts and ensure you’re at ease with the information you’re sharing. Also, review website privacy policies. Make sure you understand the terms and conditions.
- Minimize your available information- Most social networks and subscriptions request a lot of information- your name, phone number, address, email address, birthday and more. Pay attention to which fields are required (normally these are denoted by an asterisk) and only provide information you feel comfortable sharing.
- Email accounts and passwords- do you use a single email account or do you have multiple ones? Having multiple accounts through different hosts can actually increase your security- as long as they have different passwords. Use one account for personal interaction, another for professional, one for online account management and one for password recovery. Utilizing different hosts can also increase your security. If Google Mail is hacked and you only use that address for one purpose, you have a better understanding of what information may have been compromised. You are then better equipped to respond to the threat.
- Think before registering- Do you really need to be on this mailing list or that social networking site? If you don’t have a need, don’t sign-up. You may spend a little more time looking for things online but your security should be more important.
- Browsing security- Enter http://www. before a site address to access a secure version. HTTPS is a secure communications protocol that ensures you are communicating directly with the website. Some sophisticated phishing sites are designed to exactly mimic the look and feel of a website while actually capturing your personal information.
Step 3: Encourage others
Taking these steps is a great starting place but by making sure your friends, family and colleagues are taking the same steps you can make sure your information or data is secured at all times. This is especially important on shared computers or servers.
At Oasis we work with Advanced Business Solutions (Louisville, KY) to safeguard our online activities. If you would like more information about keeping your data and identify secure online contact ABS at (502) 896-2557 or online https://www.advancedbusinesssolutions.com/