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How to Keep your Privacy and Files Secure

The Internet can be a blessing and a curse depending on the person. You can use it to further your productivity and communication. If negligence and hacking occur, you or your team could end up in hot water. Keeping your files secure saves your time and learning about basic internet security can save you time, money and stress.

  • Use two-factor security checks (Multi-step security checks)

Passwords are vulnerable to hackers if they aren’t protected by multi-factory security checks. This feature refers to code or number verification to ensure only the owner can access his/her account. Most websites, emails and social media use this security check. Once the user accesses the account, the site will prompt the user to check the code sent to a number or email.

A fraudster can’t access the account as he/she needs physical access to a mobile or laptop. Just recently, Google updated its multi-factor security checks by using web form checks instead of numerical authentication. Web form verification brings simplicity and negates the threat from hackers who may intercept mobile signals through sophisticated methods and devices.

A web form authentication will prompt you with a menu asking if you’re the one accessing your account by giving the browser name and location. The security asks you with a Yes or No menu. If you’re sure that you accessed your account, then you can type yes.

  • Always use alphanumeric characters for passwords

Avoid using words or easy to guess passwords such as your fiance’s name and favourite movie. Use alphanumeric characters which is a combo of uppercase or lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. The number of characters required to sign-up depends on the website. Some require 8 or 6 characters.

  • Good – %*hBn1903

  • Bad – Trinity123

  • Backup your data

Backup means a contingency plan or second option in case you lose your data. It’s very painful to face the reality of losing your valuable photos, audios and videos to hacking or physical damage. You may back-up your files at:

  • Encrypted hard-drive

  • Encrypted USB -drive

  • Cloud storage services

  • Use a secure Wi-Fi

Unsecured Wi-Fi opens your files into possible intrusion by tech-savvy hackers. Use strong passwords to encrypt your computer and router.

To secure your Wi-Fi, use:

  • Strong passwords include a combo of special characters, numbers and letters.

  • Update the software of your router.

  • Change your router’s default name – Usually, when you buy a new router, it’s set to the name of the manufacturer’s brand. Change it to something like “John’s Wifi” or “Zero Wif”. When a router’s name is known, it’s vulnerable to malicious attackers who can exploit the model and brand vulnerabilities.

  • Turn off your wifi when not at home – Disabling your wif-if when not in use, decreases the ability of cyber-attacks, protects the router from surges and saves electric bill.

  • Install software updates

Your computer will always prompt you with software updates in your toolbar corners or right within rebooting or shutting down. While it could be intensive or pain on your part, it’s an absolute necessity. Security updates or patches makes your computer efficient and protected against malicious attacks and viruses. Keep in mind that computers, software and information technology are constantly changing.

  • Disable Bluetooth

A Bluetooth is a radio connection device that allows file sharing. Leaving it open when unused opens an opportunity to possible attacks. By disabling it you can save energy and reduce the risks of attacks.

  • Always transact through secure websites

Secure websites feature an SSL certificate (a small padlock icon) found at the upper left side. SSL stands for secure sockets layer. Keep in mind that hackers use phishing websites to mimic legit sites. You must always use secure websites under the following situations:

  • Online banking

  • Paying online

  • Selling online

  • Sending personally-identifying info.

  • Change your passwords frequently

Whenever you use your bank, online payment and web hosting accounts, change your passwords frequently. According to security experts, people should change passwords at least every 3 months. Other security pundits disagree and suggest that one should make strong passwords and two-factor.

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