If you have personal data on the Internet, it is at constant risk of being compromised. Unfortunately, you can’t control the security practices of organisations that you share your personal information with. You can, however, minimize that chances of your data getting into the wrong hands. Just as you go to the mechanic to make sure your car is still safe to drive, the same practice must be applied to your online habits. Here are some simple safety checks to do on the regular.
Change and check your passwords often
With massive data leaks happening all over and the chance of your data being included on one of them, you should change your passwords often. To check if your data has been compromised, you can go to haveibeenpwned.com. If you struggle to remember passwords there are a host of secure password managers.
Regularly check your account and device activity
Pretty much every online account facility allows you to check recent activity. This is mainly located under Profile activity or security. What they show you varies depending on the software/ platform but you should be able to get a general idea of when you logged on and on what devices. You also will get the options to block devices that may be accessing your account illegally.
Check connected apps
It is convenient to use your Facebook or Google account to sign in for various 3rd party apps because you don’t need to create a new login and remember yet another password. However, this is just another way hackers can access your data. It’s a good idea to check which apps are connected to your various online accounts to make sure that no unscrupulous apps are farming your data.
Check what’s going on your PC
Majority of people are now more aware of what they are downloading onto their PC due to many attacks in the past happening this way. However, breaches still happen. It’s a good idea to check what’s running in the background on your PC. An audit of browser extensions is also good to do. Task Manager and Spotlight will give you a general idea of what’s running in the background and if any applications look suspicious, uninstall them immediately. If you are unsure of what an application is, a quick internet search should help you with it.
Update, update, update!
Getting the latest patches and updates installed is incredibly important as the majority of updates include security patches. Windows and macOS have made it more difficult to avoid these as well, which is a good thing. Think above your operating system updates as well. Is your anti-virus up to date? Are your crucial business and personal apps up to date? Hackers often find vulnerabilities in commonly used apps to get into your system.