How to safeguard your information
Wednesday, March 29, 2018
It seems every day you turn around there’s another data breach or hack or talk about a new strand of malware or viruses. While it is only a matter of time if someone truly wants to get your information or the fact that inevitably somehow you will let your guard down and become compromised, there are a few things you can do to prevent and reduce the chances of getting hacked.
- Don’t use easy passwords.
- Change passwords periodically
- Use passphrases.
- Use longer passwords at least 8 characters to slow down the chance of being compromised due to brute force attacks.
- Use passwords on your wifi and WPA2-PSK type encryption.
- Encrypt your files.
- Don’t save all your files in one place.
- Don’t put all your financial stuff in one place.
- Don’t give out all your secrets.
- Don’t connect to public wifi to do financial transactions.
- Leave some information not connected to a network or the Internet.
- Don’t brag or post everything you do on social media.
- Write down and keep a backup of your important data files or financial records.
- Keep a copy of your backups offsite.
- Consider using two factor authentication or 2FA that requires not just a password but also a text or email verification code.
- Redact out private information or shred files and credit cards or burn your files before getting rid of them.
- Cut up old credit cards and items you no longer need and remove access or close out accounts that are no longer needed.
- Do a web search on yourself to see what you can find and contact the sites to have your data scrubbed and removed.
- Sign up to get a text alert from your banking app about any suspicious charges.
- Keep your phone and wallet close to you at all times and don’t let your laptop or other mobile device out of your sight especially when out in public.
If you are compromised consider doing the following:
- Contact the 3 major credit bureaus such as Equifax, Experian and Transunion
- Contact the Federal Trade Commission to report identity theft
- File a report with law enforcement
- Notify your credit cards and get them cancelled.
- Don’t panic and don’t necessarily send money as the first means to recover files.