13 Jul 2017

Cracking The Data Safety Code

Keeping our data safe online is something that we get told about a lot. That is because as members of the information generation, it's all too easy for our most valuable assets our identity and privacy to be compromised. But how can we keep our data safer? Read on to find out.


OK, so I know I shouldn't have to include any information on how to set a secure password here, as we should all be experts by now. However, it’s likely that some folks could still do with a refresher so here goes.

Secure passwords are ones that can’t be guessed easily. They provide a layer of protection against someone hacking into or gaining access to your account in an unauthorized way.

So what makes a secure password? Well, it needs to be at least 8 characters long. Include letters, both upper and lowercase, and numbers, as well as a symbol.

Also, resist the temptation to write your passwords down in a book or organizer that you leave near to the computer. As this just makes no sense, and it's as good as giving someone access.

Instead, use the technique to remember complex passwords.

Social Media

The security of our data and information is often called into question about concerning social media. This is for three reasons.

The first is that once posted that content can be used by the social media provider and you relinquish any rights to it. Secondly, social media is public, and that means other people have access to information about you, so your privacy is harder to control. Lastly, social media is a lasting record. So anything you do that is posted there will remain unless you go to extreme lengths to remove it.

All of these issues together means that social media and keeping your own personal data safe is a minefield. This is because it makes easy for people to ‘stalk’ you online checking on your whereabouts, and even copying your pictures for their own use.

But what can you do to prevent this sort of thing happening? Well, it's best to keep your profile set to private, allowing only your agreed friends or just yourself to see what is posted there. It's also a good idea to remember that social media is a public forum and therefore any private information such as credit card numbers should never be displayed in pictures or posts.

Lastly, it can also help to monitor who you are accepting friend requests from. The golden rule is if you don't know them in real life, it may not be a great idea to add them to your social media friends. As it’s very easy for people to appear as something they are on online.

Paper data versus digital data

Now, you may think after all of these warnings that your data is much safer in paper form that it is in digital. But that isn't necessarily the case. Storing paper data also came with it's own hazards. As its bulky to keep, it’s slow to find what you want, and it's at risk or being stolen or damaged in the real world.

That is why is can be better to store data online. One way of doing that is to use a virtual PO Box service. This is where you physical post is scanned and sent to you via a secure app. Then the physical correspondence is shredded. As long as you have good security on your phone and follow the advice in this article, this may be even safer that keeping your data in paper form. For more info check out posts like this 10 best virtual mailbox services. As they can help you compare which have the best security features.

Mobile devices

Lastly, while many of us still work on laptops and PCs, we also increasing use of smartphones to access our data and interact on the web. That means our phones, as well as our desktops, need to be secure.

To do this, you need to think about several different layers of security. First of all, ensure that your phone is password protected so if it is lost no one will be able to gain access to your data.

Secondly, consider upgrading this level of security by using fingerprint, or even iris recognition.

Next, always install the updates on time as this often has security patches for an issue that have become apparent.

Lastly, remember to use a secure network when transmitting confidential or private information, and avoid public wifi. As people may not be able to get into you phone storage, but they could eavesdrop on the info that you are sending on an unsecured line.

This is a guest post by Fat Joe


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