In this article, I have listed a few tips to keep your personal data and other information secure online.
Internet security is something that everyone should be concerned with and that you should definitely take seriously. With all your bank details, your personal information and your private pictures stored online, a world of damage could be done if someone were to get a hole of your details and hack your accounts.
Thus you should choose the most secure passwords possible, you should make sure that you have different passwords for various different services and accounts, and you should look after your system security by running regular checks and installing the best software.
But of course it’s up to you just how far you want to take this and really there’s no limit to just how secure you can go. Ultimately this will come down to how much time you are willing to invest in your security, and how concerned you are about your data being backed.
But imagining that you want to take this as far as you can go, just what are the most extreme things you can do to protect your information and keep your data secure?
Your Username and Password
‘Bots’ that hack into e-mail accounts and the like do so by using a strategy called ‘brute force’. That is to say that they run algorithms that test countless different password and username combinations until eventually they find the combination that works and they get in.
These bots attempt to test every combination, but it of course takes time for that to work. Thus they will normally give up once they get to long strings including every symbol as there will be too many different combinations there to realistically try. Thus you should have passwords that are long and that include both capital letters and symbols. Additionally, you should make sure that your usernames are just as random and difficult – remember it’s combinations that these bots use.
Use Your Mouse
Your mouse is a great ally in keeping your information safe from malware that ‘watches’ your keystrokes. These programs will record the keys you press in order to look for commonly used strings that might be passwords, but they can’t record your mouse movements. Thus if you want to be really safe you can write the password in the wrong order and move the mouse around to change it as you go. You could even delete letters you don’t need and paste sections… if you can be bothered.
Change Your Password Regularly
Changing your password regularly is a hassle, but seeing as most hackers won’t use the passwords they acquire right away it can be a good way to prevent your information from being used against you even if someone does manage to obtain it.
Have a Separate Account
If you use the web a lot, then your e-mail address is going to be known by many and will be available through a number of different sites. This is bad news of course from a security standpoint, so it’s a good idea to keep an additional separate account that you can use with your bank accounts and other sensitive information.
Have a Separate Computer
Want to go even further? Then you could always use a separate computer for your transactions that doesn’t get used for anything else. Thus it will be less likely to pick up malware that can present a security risk and there will be far less opportunity for anyone to hack it. Use this only on your home, secure network and only with the most secure software in place.
Have a Separate Bank Account
If you want to be even safer still, you can create a whole separate bank account especially for your online transactions. You could then keep no more than a few hundred dollars in that account, and only transfer more money over when you need it. Ensure that there is no overdraft facility on that account, and that way even if your personal card details get stolen, there’s no way you could stand to lose more than those couple of hundred.
Or you could just use normal security and hope for the best… it’s your call!
Nancy Baker is a freelance blogger and currently writes for Express Locksmith, leading locksmiths in Montreal. An adrenaline junkie, Nancy loves to go sky diving and paragliding.