In 2020 we saw data breaches compromise the information of millions of people. We were writing about them, what seemed like, every other week. So in 2021, what can we do about it? Unfortunately, data breaches are inevitable and there’s nothing you as an individual can do to prevent them. But, there are ways to minimize the damage.
A 2019 poll found that 90% of people were very concerned about their online privacy. But most of us still don’t know what to do to protect our privacy online. This makes Data Privacy Day even more of an occasion. Read on for actionable insights to make yourself more secure.
What’s Data Privacy Day?
According to the National Cyber Security Alliance, Data Privacy Day is “an international effort to empower individuals and businesses to respect privacy, safeguard data and enable trust”. Ask yourself these questions:
- What information have you shared online?
- Companies are constantly collecting information about you as a consumer: what you purchase, where you live, where your order take out from, even your friend list.
- Who has access to this information?
- Often third party advertisers have access to your data. And with all your consumer information these companies are prime targets for data-breaches.
- What should you be doing to protect your information?
- If you’re not sure, don’t worry. Our team is here to give you tips and tricks to protect your privacy online!
4 Tips to Protect Your Privacy Online
1. Be Proactive With Your Online Accounts
- Be cautious of what information you’re sharing. For example, charities should not be asking for your SSN or SIN, and you probably don’t need to share your contact list with any online games or applications.
- Haven’t used that application in a while? Or no longer play that game? Delete old applications and games when you stop using them so they no longer get your information.
- Review your settings and update them if you need to. Do you know what people can see on your Facebook profile? Here are important privacy settings to change on Facebook. What about your other accounts? Here’s helpful information to manage all your accounts.
2. Have Strong And Complex Passwords For All Your Accounts
- The easiest way to protect your accounts is to have a good password. So first off, stay away from simple and easy passwords. Most of these are a guessable word or name – don’t do that.
- Choose a password with symbols, numbers, and upper case letters mixed together. And do not reuse the same password across your accounts.
- Forgot your password? Not a problem but make sure you have strong security questions when you want to reset it. For example, security question: what was the name of your childhood pet? Answer: OWtNoMDtwGi98 (Oscar was the name of my dog that we got in 1998).
- Use two-factor authentication wherever possible. This means that you, the user, will provide two different ways to prove it’s really you or authenticate yourself. Here are some 2FA apps to check out. Plus look at the example below:
3. Equip Your Cyber Security Tool Box With The Best Privacy Tools
- Have you tried a Virtual Private Network (VPN)? A VPN creates a secure, private connection between your device and a remote server to encrypt your internet activity. Try NordVPN here and save because you’re a FixMeStick customer.
- Be sure to run your FixMeStick once a month to make sure there is nothing lurking on your computer!
- After you make those passwords strong and complex save them with Google’s or Edge’s built in password manager. Best part – they’re free!
- Have an up-to-date antivirus to block malware from sneaking onto your computer and stealing your information. We recommend McAfee Total Protection – learn more here.
- Mozilla Firefox has a feature that will flag sites that have been breached in the past. It’ll make you think twice before entering personal information on a website, even if the website has “Https”.
4. Stay On Top Of What’s Going On
- Last year we saw the GDPR passed into law giving European citizens more control over the data they’ve shared with companies.
- In the US, California passed a bill regulating the default settings of Internet of Things devices so you’re more protected.
- To stay up-to-date with the latest news follow us on Facebook – we’re always available to help!
With more and more of our lives happening online, we see more and more of our information being stored online too. Unfortunately, this information is not always secure and data breaches happen. This Data Privacy Day, and all year long, we’re here to help you with tips and tricks to better navigate your digital life.