Unfortunately, many people neglect the necessity of data security on their home computers, tablets, and smartphones so we will discuss the Importance of Data Security.
This leaves them vulnerable to hackers, identity thieves, and other unsavory characters on the Internet.
While exposing private information on the Internet is dangerous, there are several concrete ways in which the average computer user can secure their data.
Investigation Hotline explains the best ways to secure your data online, beginning with virus protection programs.
Table of Contents
Virus Protection Programs
Many new computers come with a one-year trial subscription to an antivirus software package, but they neglect to renew the membership after the trial period is complete.
Residents of Toronto are vulnerable to viruses, like computer users from around the world.
Windows computers come with a basic antivirus program built into the operating system, but this program does not always catch all the malware, Trojan horses, and viruses that could be lurking in suspicious downloads.
Subscribing to an antivirus program should be considered a must-do when using a computer that is connected to the Internet.
There are many reputable providers for these programs, including McAfee, Kaspersky, and Norton.
Whichever program you choose, make sure that it is installed on your computer as soon as possible.
Even when they have protected their computers, many people in Oakville forget that their phones could be another source of attacks.
All phones can be vulnerable to attack.
The most important thing that you can do to set up your phone securely is to require a passcode and two-factor identification.
Every time you log into your phone, you should have a password protection screen come up.
Biometric information, like fingerprint scanning and face recognition, is used by iPhone and iPad devices.
This system should be considered mostly safe, though a backup of two-factor identification is recommended.
Two-factor identification involves both entering your phone’s regular passcode and a code sent to a different device via text or instant message.
This is generally triggered when a hacker tries more than three passwords to get into the phone.
One of the most important things that Toronto residents can do to protect their information is to avoid repeating or reusing passwords.
Repeating or reusing frequently used passwords or using a pet’s name, birthday, or other easily accessible information can cause hacking and identity theft.
Make sure that all of your passwords are strong, containing at least 8 characters with a mix of letters, numbers, and characters.
When passwords are randomized enough to be secure, it is difficult to remember them.
Another serious mistake that many Internet users make is keeping their passwords in an unsecured file on their phone or computer.
If a hacker can access the machine, passwords are one of the first things they will look for.
It is especially crucial not to put bank or credit card passwords on your phone unencrypted.
Fortunately, there are many excellent services that provide password vaults that can be accessed with a single password.
Take extra care with this master key password, because if you lose it, you may not be able to access your passwords again.
Password managers include LastPass, Nordpass, Roboform, and Dashlane.
Any one of these programs can provide the protection you need to keep your passwords secure.
When it comes to changing passwords, you should do this far more often than most people in Oakville believe is necessary.
Banking and credit card passwords should be changed every few months.
Other sensitive passwords should also be changed periodically.
Nearly every Internet user in Vaughn and across the country has received a phishing email.
Phishing means that an email mimics a message from a legitimate company, leading people to click on the link and enter their personal information like credit card information, banking information, or personal identification numbers.
There are several criteria that you should check to make sure the email is real:
- Look at the sender’s email address. If it is not spelled correctly or contains unexplained characters, it is probably a phishing email.
- Check the email for spelling problems and poor grammar. These are often the hallmarks of a phishing email.
- If an email tells you that you need to re-enter your password, account information, or credit card number, it is almost certain that it is a phishing email.
Never click on a link in a suspicious email.
If you feel the need to check whether your account actually has a problem, log into the real website and make sure that your account is secure.
You may want to change your password.
One of the disastrous events that a phishing email can cause is identity theft.
When your identity is stolen, hackers use your full name, address, Social Insurance Number, and banking information to pose as you.
This means that they can open credit card accounts in your name and access your bank accounts.
Always keep close tabs on your credit reports to make sure that no one else has opened accounts in your name.
One of the most important ways to prevent identity theft is to make your social media information secure.
Many people in Mississauga forget that not everyone on social media is really their “friend.”
Social media can make it easy to access a person’s full name, address, birthdate, and related names including pets’ names which are often used as challenge information when logging into various websites.
Unsecured networks can be another major problem for residents of Vaughn.
When your computer or phone uses an unsecured Wi-Fi network, the information that is being transmitted across the server is accessible to anyone in the area.
This can be especially dangerous with banking and credit card information.
Protect Yourself and Your Future
Internet security is something that many people in Mississauga and across the country neglect, but it should always be taken seriously.
Protecting yourself from online criminals and hackers should be second nature.
Investigation Hotline recommends securing your data and information in any way possible.