1. Use Random & Unique Passwords To Keep Hackers Guessing.
Using the same password for multiple accounts and services is definitely something you should strive to stay away from. Doing so can make a hacker’s life a whole lot easier, and is basically the same as using one key to unlock your home, car, or office. Thinking of using a password management tool to store all of your passwords? Think again! Using a password management tool can lead to a world of problems because if a hacker were to illegally access your password management tool, they would then have access to all of your passwords. If you have trouble remembering your passwords its actually better to click that “forgot password” button to reset your password, than using a password management tool. When you are creating a password, try and use a combination of something significant that holds a memorable spot in your brain. For example, if you went on vacation in the summer of 2017, you can use the name of the place you went to, followed by the year. Using a similar formula for security questions will also help you to remember your passwords.
2. Buy A Shredder!
Shredding unwanted personal information or sensitive documents is the only way to properly dispose of delicate information. Unproperly disposing of information has by far become one of the most popular ways identity theft occurs. In 1988, it was the Supreme Court that ruled, “Once an item is left for trash pick-up, there is no expectation of privacy or continued ownership.” Buying a shredder and properly disposing of your unwanted data will not only protect your identity from being stolen but will also help to avoid litigation, fines, penalties, fraud, and unwanted publicity. To further avoid these types of penalties it is recommended that you shred unwanted medical and dental records, standard mail, resumes, used airline tickets, credit card applications and statements, and speeding tickets.
3. Use A Two-Factor (2FA) or Multi-Factor Authentication Tool
A two-factor authentication tool helps to add an extra coating of security to your online accounts or even your cell phone. A simple yet effective method, which only includes a couple minutes of groundwork to protect your identity in the long run. A 2FA tool allows you to input an extra security code after you log in to your account. There are multiple methods of two-factor authentication, which include text message authentication, app authentication, and hardware authentication. Each form is unique in its own way, but they all serve the same purpose: protecting your personal information and identity!
4. Backup Your Data
Take advantage of the fact that you can use backups to effectively restore any lost data should it be stolen from ransomware attacks. It’s important to always make copies of your data and store them in another type of device or in your desk at work as well. In the event of a malicious attack, regularly backing up your data will at least leave you with the option to restore your computer to a safe state with all your important information still intact.
5. Never Send Personal Information Over A Non-Secure Platform
Sending personal information such as a Social Security number, address, or phone number over a non-secure platform could easily be intercepted by an internet thief. Try using a secure messaging service such as NeoCertified. NeoCertified uses encryption to protect your sensitive information by using an encrypted network to send information to and from a recipient. Our platform also integrates with Outlook, Gmail, and Edge email services so you can connect your standard email address to send information.
Written by Peter J. Schaub
President & CEO, NeoCertified
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