Cyber Security: Keep Your Personal Data Safe Online

Look up. No, not that far up. Stop looking at the ceiling. You’re embarrassing yourself.

Look at the top of your web browser. See your tabs? What websites do you have open? Facebook? Twitter? LinkedIn? Your online banking account?

Now look around you. Where are you? Are at a library or local coffee shop?

If the answer is, “Yes”, then your information might be compromised as you read this.

Cyber security has to be taken seriously. If you’re a millennial, then you grew up with modern technology. You’re used to giving away your personal data at will and trusting the safety of websites. You’re also used to taking your phone and laptops to public places and leaving your data in the hands of a public network.

However, you need to protect your information and keep your personal data safe online. Here’s what you need to know.

Your Password Is Too Simple

Your street name, mother’s maiden name and first pet’s name. You probably think all these options are viable contenders for your passwords.

Think again.

Dictionary words aren’t effective passwords because hackers look for them. If there’s a pattern that makes sense, hackers will find it a lot quicker. Google suggests you take a phrase that only makes sense to you and use the first letter of each word. Mix up capital letters, symbols and numbers to make it a unique series of characters. Hackers won’t be able to detect your password as easily.

Avoid saving your password and sharing with others, too. You never know how secure a network truly is. Don’t leave it up to chance.

Good Cyber Security requires a VPN

Modern technology has made freelance work a normality in today’s workforce. Freelancers have the power to work from anywhere in the world, whether it’s their house or a public place.

If you’re working at a coffee shop, library, park or anywhere that has a public network, make sure you have a Virtual Private Network, or a VPN. When you have a VPN, it hides your computer from the public network by placing a remote server in between. This lets you access the Internet and do your work in a much safer way — keeping hackers away and making your accounts more secure.

Become Informed About Data Breaching

A cyber attack can happen at any time. You won’t know when it’s happening, and you won’t be prepared to deal with the damages.

Become more informed with data-breach coaching. You’ll learn how to prepare for a cyber attack and how you can recover once it’s happened. A breach coach can also provide services that’ll help you protect your information. Not only will you learn what to do in this unfortunate situation, but you’ll know how to keep your data secure.

Secure Your Information

Since social media accounts have been around for most of your existence, you’re used to willingly giving away your information. However, this can be dangerous and have terrible consequences.

You may not even remember if you have an account with a certain website, but good practice is to delete any account you don’t regularly use. Set all your privacy settings to make it more difficult for hackers to access your account as well.

Control Your Online Presence

It’s time you control your online presence. How many social media accounts do you have? How many online stores do you have accounts with that your credit card number is attached to? Where is your information saved?

Take control of your data by being cautious of your online presence. Make sure your information is only in places you can trust. Your online presence should be limited to make it harder for hackers to find you even more difficult to obtain your identity.

Be Safe

As a millennial, you are all over the Internet. Be safe, make good decisions and make it as hard as possible for hackers to steal your personal data.

What do you think?

Written by Holly Whitman

Holly Whitman is a millennial writer and journalist based in the DC area. After relocating from the UK a couple of years ago, her new mission is to visit every state and complete half of her bucket list before turning 30. In her spare time, you can usually find her working on her novel, volunteering at a local women's shelter or, most likely, attempting to stop her dog Winston from jumping in puddles.

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