As today is Data Privacy Day, we wanted to give our expert advise when it comes to staying safe online. If you are worried any of your information may compromised online, read our tips below in how you can stop this from happening.
Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
Either use a trusted authenticator app, such as Authy, Microsoft Authenticator or Google Authenticator, or text messages sent to your phone to generate login codes for your various accounts.
Don’t Trust All Emails or Texts
Just because it says it’s from your bank or trusted company.Scammers can make emails and texts appear as if they’re sent from any person or company they want. With emails don’t just look at the “From” name, check the email address it has been sent from as well. Is it a trusted domain name that matches the company’s website like “@amazon.co.uk” or “@paypal.co.uk”? Most professional companies will not use free email services such as Gmail or Yahoo, or email accounts provided by internet service providers, such as @btinternet.com, @virginmedia.com, @ntlworld.com, etc.
Always Google a phone number that messages you, tries to call or leaves voicemail messages. Chances are if they’re a scammer that has contacted others before, they have been reported as scammers, websites like https://who-called.co.uk/ and https://scam-numbers.co.uk/ are very helpful.
Remember, anything that doesn’t quite seem right and looks dodgy, most likely is.
Review Permissions for Mobile Apps and Browser Extensions
Mobile apps prompt you to give them permissions to access contacts or files saved on your device, to use the camera, microphone, geolocation, and so on. A lot of these apps are trustworthy and really do need these permissions to work, however, there are also many that are not trustworthy and use some of this information for unsolicited marketing purposes and worse. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to control which apps are given which permissions. The same stands for browser extensions, which also have unfortunate spying tendencies.
Change Your Passwords Regularly
It’s important you change your passwords regularly to safeguard against possible leaks of your login details, this can happen for a range of reasons from you entering the password into a fake website to the websites themselves being hacked into and the data leaked/stolen. Changing your passwords regularly limits the damage of these types of leaks as your details will quickly become outdated.
Some services, such as those with sensitive details, will enforce a regular password change automatically.
Use Separate Passwords for Everything
If you use the same password for everything it’s opening up all of your accounts for potential issues if any one of your services are hacked into, your password becomes the weakest link in the chain. By using separate passwords, you are limiting the damage of any potential attacks to a single service! This can be overwhelming but using it alongside your password manager means you only have to remember one!
Monitor Your Online Accounts
Think your safe? Check https://haveibeenpwned.com/ this service lists known data breaches and by entering your email it will match up your account with historical data breaches to let you know if you have been affected. If you find any of your accounts on the list change login details to keep the accounts safe.
Keep Everything Up to Date
Security patches and updates are regularly released for a range of software, from your computer and its software to your mobile and tablets. Keeping all of these updated with the latest patches will protect you from known exploits.
Don’t Fill Out Facebook Quizzes
While it’s interesting to see what cat, bread or superhero you might be these are an easy way for scammers to harvest personal data, if one quiz asks for your month of birth, another asks for the year and the final asks for the date the scammers will be able to put together your full date of birth from what appears on first glance to be innocent questions.