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Blog October 31, 2015

Your Worst Nightmare: Stolen Personal Data

It’s “Halloweek” and the final week of National Cyber Security Awareness Month. One of the worst nightmares anyone could experience is having their personal data or identity stolen. In this day and age, you should always assume that someone is trying to steal it and protect it accordingly. We’ve compiled a few tips in this post to help with that.

Almost every American has at least one mobile device, tablet, or laptop that they use daily. Realize that each of these devices can be like a set of keys to your most sensitive data. Some best practices for safe guarding these devices and yourself include:

  • Use strong password protection, including upper case, lower case, numbers, and at least one special character
  • NEVER use the same password on multiple devices or accounts
  • Store out of sight or in a locked drawer when not in use
  • Ensure anti-virus and firewall are up-to-date with the latest definitions and firmware updates

In addition to mobile devices, online accounts are an ever increasing security concern. Of the 2.1 billion people on social media alone, 1.7 billion access their accounts through mobile devices. Here are a few additional tips for protecting critical data when accessing social accounts via a mobile device:

  • Enable two-step login verification when possible
  • Customize privacy options and follow privacy policy changes
  • Set up alerts for logins from new devices or browsers
  • Monitor your friends/followers and watch for fake accounts, and
  • Never post sensitive or overly personal information, especially in your bio

Overall, you should always be aware of your devices and accounts. Remember that anything you post online will live on forever, even if you delete it. And that includes what your contacts post about you, so it’s important to always be vigilant and educate those around you, too. What are some of your cyber security tips? Leave them in the comments below!

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