The internet has helped to make life easier in a variety of ways. You can now shop for virtually anything you need online and you can pay your bills, check your credit card and investment account balances and stay connected with friends and family on social media.
This online convenience does come with a price: a risk of compromised personal cybersecurity. Fortunately, you don’t have to take these threats lying down. By understanding the many aspects of personal cybersecurity as well as learning ways to protect it, you can continue to enjoy the conveniences that being online offers.
What Is Personal Cybersecurity?
Personal cybersecurity refers to the tangible steps that you take to help keep your personal and sensitive data safe online. There are three main components to this goal: controlling the information you share online (including protecting your identity), protecting your online data from criminals and keeping any data that is stored on computers or other electronic devices as secure as possible.
As for how to help protect your personal cybersecurity in as many ways as possible, consider the following tips.
Share as Little as Possible
Social media websites can be a great way to keep in touch with others, sharing pictures and details about your family, vacations and how things are going at work. Unfortunately, they may also be goldmines of data for cybercriminals who are looking for password information and other personal details. As CNET notes, when you are on Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites, steer clear of any “phishing” posts that ask you to name your first car or the street you lived on when you were little, and try not to include your pets’ names in any posts. These are all common answers to security questions and/or used in passwords, so the less you share on social media, the better.
Look Into an Integrated Packaged Protection Plan
To help protect your identity and keep your online data safe from cyber crooks, you might want to invest in an integrated identity theft plan. For instance, LifeLock has partnered with Norton to offer a packaged protection plan that includes a password manager, credit monitoring and the LifeLock Identity Alert System. With the latter, you will receive an alert if and when your name, address, Social Security number and/or birth date are used in an application. If you completed the application yourself, no problem, you can dismiss the alert. But if a cybercriminal has gained access to your data and is applying for a credit card in your name, LifeLock and Norton will get busy to stop the process and fix the situation.
Avoid Public Wi-Fi
When you are standing in a long line at the taco shop waiting to place your order, you might be tempted to use this waiting time to check your bank balance on your phone and maybe pay a bill or two. According to Geekflare, using a public Wi-Fi system is a good way for hackers to gain access to the sensitive data you have stored on your phone. Resist the urge to use public Wi-Fi at all times and your personal data should remain more secure.
Strong Personal Cybersecurity Is the Goal
You have worked hard to establish good credit and save money. The last thing you want is for some hacker to get access to both and ruin your FICO score and drain your savings. By being aware of the three components of personal cybersecurity and taking steps to work on all of them at once, your sensitive data may be less likely to fall into the wrong hands.