Security / hacking

5 tips to keep your personal information secure

Keeping your personal information secure is very important, especially, in this digitally advanced landscape. These days malicious people are out to steal and use your personal information and use them to execute the crime. You might have heard of attacks like identity theft that are now a problem we have to be on the lookout for. In 2019, it was estimated that 1 in 5 people have been victims of identity theft. In the US alone, 33% of adults have been victims of this. Well, you don’t have to be an IT guru to stay safe. With proper tips, you can seamlessly fortify the security of your personal information. This quick guide covers some of the best tips on how to keep your personal information secure.

Use strong passwords and keep them private

It is a no brainer that we need passwords to keep our personal information secure. So, if your personal files are saved in a folder on a local PC, you ought to use strong passwords to prevent unwanted access. Use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters to make it unique and difficult to predict. The same applies if your documents are saved on the cloud. Make sure the passwords are unpredictable and complex enough to give intruders an experience to forget. Avoid reusing passwords and codes to minimize damage in case one account is breached. Also don’t share your passwords with other people or friends. Your password should be your personal property!

Inquire before sharing

With theft becoming smart and sophisticated, it is high time you exercise caution while giving out personal information. Play hardball and never relent so easily if it is inevitable. Thoroughly question them and propose whether you can give a less-sensitive different kind of identification. Also ask them why they need it, how they are going to use it, the safety of your information in their hands, and what if you don’t share with them, etc.

Secure your computer & devices

Viruses and other malware programs are some of the threats to personal information. When these malicious programs attack your computer, they can corrupt files and passwords. These malware programs can be accidentally downloaded into your computer as junk files. Of course, you can use an antivirus to scan for these infections. Another cheaper and easier way is to simply clean the junk to free of malware in your disk using an appropriate cleaner app. If you are using a Mac, for example, here is a nice guide covering some of the best software cleaners you can use. Pick the right cleaner app for your device to help keep you secure. Remember to also update your software tools to avoid breaches taking advantage of bugs.

Read privacy policies

Frankly speaking, most people do not read privacy policies when giving out their information on several sites and apps. We often only tick the box to move faster to the next step. Although it is time-consuming and tiresome, you should read the policies to understand how sites and apps use your information as well as whether your files will be secure. Also, check whether they share your information with third parties. Desist from sites that you don’t understand their privacy policy.

Keep your physical files secure

Lock any hard copy documents in a safe place. Ensure they are secure from your friends or close persons who can be a security loophole. When you are going out, only carry the relevant documents.  If possible, you can make a copy of the documents required and leave the others in a safer place at home.

Wrap up

There are many ways you can keep your personal information secure. Although we might not have compressed them into this quick guide, the bottom line is that you need to strive to stay as safe as you can. Beware of malicious people and try to keep them at bay.

Photograph by Pixelcreatures