How to protect your data online

We lock our doors, add burglar bars over the windows and cover our pin numbers at the ATM. We do this to keep ourselves safe and keep intruders out. Privacy and security are integral to our safety and sanity. However, we may be leaving ourselves vulnerable to intruders in another area — online.

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Here are a few tips to help keep your data secure.

Put a Lock on it

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Many persons are walking around without some kind of lock on their devices. Sure, it’s easier to access your device the moment you pick it up or turn it on, but if your device is lost or stolen, it makes it easier for a stranger to quickly get access to your information. Consider adding a password or passcode.

Use Strong Passwords

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Speaking of passwords – if your password is “password1”, or any variation of the word like, “p@ssw0rd” – stop what you are doing and go change it now. If it is any variation of your name or birthday, it’s not clever, go and change it now. Passwords are essential for privacy both online and off, and using a weak one is like using cardboard as your front door.

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Weak passwords can be hacked or guessed in seconds and hackers will most definitely try a cracked password somewhere else to see what works.When creating a password, consider passphrases instead of a single word or complicated letters and symbols you will never remember. Instead of “Nh7&3$63pp9”, consider “oxford_horsesdatumparky” as it is much easier to remember and is much harder to hack or guess.

Use a Password Manager

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If you can’t remember your passwords or are terrible at making good ones, password managers can help. All you must remember is your master password.

The applications can generate and store all your passwords in a safe environment, protected by your master password. Many password managers are available for your computer, phone or tablet and even allow you to use them on many devices simultaneously.

— Written by Renor C.