Stay protected on your phone, laptop and desktops. Here are some habits that I have picked up over the years after living the information technology lifestyle.+
- Stay off of the public WiFi offered by restaurants, malls or any place you go to that offers it for free. It’s too easy to intercept network traffic that is exchanged over an unsecured network that doesn’t require a password or some type of authentication. Just imagine the postmaster dropping off your personal mail at a Starbucks for anyone to take. If you are going to connect to that WiFi, I recommend only using it for pleasure and try to refrain from conducting business on it. And turn your Bluetooth off when you’re not using it.
- Save any work with personally identifiable information on external hard drives. If you have any documents with sensitive information in it, try to keep it off of your laptop or tablet, where it can be easily found if you ever lose it. Invest in an external hard drive and treat it like that binder where you store all of your important documents.
- Make strong passwords and keep them secure with a password encrypting program. Password Padlock is available as an app in the windows store and makes it easy to keep track of all of your passwords so you won’t forget them. And No, Password1 is not acceptable. Try something like 66CHun+@r094 where you incorporate numbers, special characters, upper and lowercase letters.
- Install antivirus and keep it up to date at all times. Avast offers free antivirus that I, and millions of others use. It’s easy to setup and can protect your computer when your son or daughter decides they want to download that new song by Justin Bieber. And perform full scans after they get off of your computer.
- Secure your home/apartment network. Change the default passwords for your wireless router and WiFi. Anyone can google the make and model of your router and easily control your network without you knowing it, take all of your bandwidth and leave you with slow internet speeds. If you are unsure how to, contact me firstname.lastname@example.org and I can assist you. This is especially important if you are living in an apartment complex. And disable that Guest WiFi if it’s enabled.
Let me know what you think and comment if you have any more ideas that can help keep personal information secure.