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September 03, 2019

5 Tips for Increasing Your Digital Security

If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, you’ve surely seen tales from across the globe on the new and exciting dangers the digital world is bringing to our lives. As intimidating as this may be, it’s natural. The more the internet intertwines itself into our daily lives, the more crime potential is created. It’s the same story with any new advancement throughout human history.

To that point, the best way to increase your security is to increase what you know.  The better you understand the mechanisms available to you to prevent and protect your identity online, the more secure you are online. In this article, we’re going to give you five tips for increasing your digital security.

1.Strong Password Management is a Must.

Passwords are the thorn in anyone’s side. As tempting as it may be to use your favorite vacation of Password123, it’s not secure. ‘Lazy’ passwords like Password123 are easy for hackers and bots alike to guess. When creating passwords, make sure that you’re using heavily encrypted passwords.  If you struggle to keep track of your passwords, consider using a service like LastPass or OnePassword to generate, store, and secure passwords that you use on the internet.

If you opt for your own password management, you’ll need to make sure that you’re regularly updating your passwords and are keeping them in a locked environment.

2.  Use 2-Step Verification

As annoying as 2-step verification can be, they’ve been put in place for a reason. If you want to truly protect your accounts and information online, use 2-step verification wherever possible.  Do not be one of the users that slashes their safety by turning them off. The simple fact is that it’s harder for bots and hackers alike to complete 2-step, thus making your accounts harder to hack in to.     

3.  Use a Virtual Private Network

When talking about digital security it doesn’t get much more private than using a VPN.  Using a virtual private network creates a completely secure environment for you to surf the internet on. These clever systems can be used to secure your surfing, access region-specific web content, and ensure a safe and encrypted connection wherever you may wander.

There are dozens of VPN services online, but if you’d like to take it up a notch-you can find plenty of ways to create your own VPN server for private or corporate use.  If you opt for the latter, make sure you have basic IT knowledge and are able to easily navigate your computers systems and processes. If you’d still prefer to have a server built, use a trusted VPN provider that can help you secure the network.

4.  Steer Clear of Unsecured Websites

The easiest way to tell whether or not you can trust as a website is in the URL bar. Only sites with HTTPS are secured with a security certificate. A site that simply displays HTTP carries a higher risk than sites with HTTPS. Though this may not matter when you’re searching ancient forums for a specific answer, it does when you’re shopping online. The golden rule of using you bank cards on the internet is: Is the website secured with an SSL?

5.  Don’t Talk to Strangers

Anyone who’s walked through life has heard the classic warning: ‘Don’t talk to strangers.” This applies to more than just your neighborhood at night. The simple and honest truth is that a lot of scams start with:

a. A stranger striking up a conversation on social media or email.

b. People entering their information on websites that they don’t truly know the people or persons behind the website.

To protect yourself from wild scams and Facebook (News - Alert) hacks alike, remember the golden rule. Do not start a conversation with strangers on the internet.  Deny random messages on social media that come from accounts and regions you do not recognize. Research the websites you are using and understand who owns them and what their motives are. A simple Google (News - Alert) search can tell you a lot about the credibility of the website you are using. If a business or person is legitimate, it’s easy to find their digital paper trail.

Long story short? Use the tools that are given to you and invest in more if you can afford it. Much like insurance, you’ll never know how grateful you’ll be for security until yours is compromised.

Have you had your digital security compromised? Want to add a few more tips to the list? Share your thoughts or advice in the comments.

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