Personal information is extremely valuable. While most people think of security as adding an alarm system to their homes, one of the most vulnerable - and valuable - components of personal property is personal information. With personal information, criminals can hack into your bank accounts, steal your identity, and leave a trail of destruction that can take many years to restore.
Keeping your personal information secure is just as important as locking up your home and maintaining your alarm system. Here are some simple but effective ways to keep your information safe.
Use Strong Passwords
Many people fall into the habit of using the same password for everything. It's easier to remember that way, but it won't be worth it when a criminal is granted access to every single one of your personal accounts. Try to make passwords that are obscure and difficult to guess. Have a different set of passwords for personal and work accounts.
It's also a good idea to keep a password for social media different from the one you use for accounts with personal information. Also, ensure you change your passwords periodically, and make sure an acquaintance wouldn't be able to guess them. Review our password level judgement below and rate how secure your passwords are.
Keep Electronics Secure
Simply creating screen-lock passwords for your tablet, phone and laptop is not enough to keep your information secure. If your devices are stolen, a seasoned criminal will easily be able to access them without even unlocking the screen to steal your information.
Public WiFi connections are easily hacked for private information, as are links left unsecured on your social media accounts. People sitting in the same coffee shop could be looking for someone to target. Even the acceptance of that mysterious friend request can lead to disaster.
To safeguard your information, leave bill-paying account-checking for your home to-do list. Instead of leaving your electronics where they can be seen on the seat of your car or open on your desk at home, lock them away or take them with you wherever you go.
Be Careful about Sharing Information Online
In the age of information and social media, it's an all-too-common problem to not know where to stop when it comes to sharing personal information on the internet. Everyone wants to cultivate an online presence to enhance business success, establish networking connections, and to share their lives with distant relatives and friends.
Whenever possible, avoid sharing private information through social media, email, text, and any other medium that can leave your personal data vulnerable to theft. It's never too soon to start being more careful about how you share information with the world. While most people may seem trustworthy, you never know how your information might end up in the wrong hands. That's a risk you shouldn't take. Using the tips listed above, start safeguarding your information today.
Password Level Judgement
There are four kinds of characters that can be used for a password:
- Uppercase letters
- Lowercase letters
- Special characters
There are also four password strength levels.
Level 0: password length is fewer than eight characters; password contains one kind of the four characters; password is the same as the username; password is the mirror writing of the username
Examples: 12345, abcdefg
Level 1 (weak): password length is more than eight characters; password contains two kinds of the four characters; the combination is a number and lowercase letter, or number and uppercase letter
Examples: 12345abc, 12345ABC
Level 2 (medium): password length is more than eight characters; password contains two of the four characters; the combination is NEITHER number and lowercase letter, NOR number and uppercase letter
Examples: 1234567!, abcdefg/, ABCDEFGh
Level 3 (strong): password is more than eight characters; password contains more than two of the four characters
Be sure to review and update your own passwords with these guidelines, aiming for a level 3 strength.