Technology is an important part of our everyday lives; our cell phones and computers offer the world at our fingertips. They also convert your passwords, emails, credit card numbers and more into data that can be extremely valuable to scammers looking to steal your information or money. This is why we observe Data Privacy Day on January 28, as a way to remind ourselves to improve our internet safety practices to better protect our privacy.
Follow these tips from your Better Business Bureau on protecting your data:
Share carefully. Think about who will see your posts and how they could be perceived. Even if you delete something you once posted, it still lives online somewhere.
Own your online presence. Decide for yourself who you want to share information with online. You can adjust privacy settings to determine how much information you are sharing and with whom.
Value your information. It helps to think of your information like money – it’s valuable and should be protected. If you’re visiting a site that asks for personal or financial information, be sure it is legitimate and secure before giving that information. You’ll know a website is secure by the ‘https’ in the URL (the ‘s’ stands for secure) and the lock icon.
Create strong passwords. A strong password helps keep you better protected against hackers. Longer passwords with a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols are ideal. You should also avoid using the same password for multiple accounts or devices.
Double up on security. Consider two-factor authentication for important accounts like email, banking and social media accounts, especially on mobile devices. This is an extra layer of protection that is even stronger than a password alone.
Stay away from unfamiliar links. Never click on links or open attachments in unsolicited or unfamiliar emails. These are generally phishing scams with links to malware that can steal your information.
Emily Gaines is the public relations coordinator for the Better Business Bureau in the Heart of Texas.