Digital Hygiene Tips And Best Practices
How hygienic is your digital presence? Below, we explore the importance of digital hygiene, as well as how to ensure that you’re as safe as possible while surfing the world wide web.
In today’s modern digital world, we’re connected more than ever through the devices and the apps that we use.
In fact, according to Statista, there are roughly 4.57 billion people that use the internet. That’s more than half of the world’s population logging on virtually every single day!
Additionally, a study performed by Dashlane in 2015, found that on average, an internet used has about 90 online accounts.
If you do that math, that’s 4.57 billion people, with 90 accounts each…. I think you get the picture…
With that said, it’s important to realize that each one of these accounts represents a potential gateway for savvy crooks and criminals to hijack your accounts, and possibly even your identity.
What’s worse is that poor digital hygiene doesn’t only put you and your online presence at risk, it also puts your family and friends accounts at risk.
Therefore, it’s more important than ever to ensure that we’re using proper digital hygiene when we log on to use the internet.
So how can you make sure all of your accounts are as safe as possibly can be?
Keep reading and we’ll go over a few digital hygiene best practices that are an absolute MUST if you want to keep yourself and your online identity safe while surfing the world wide web.
Use Strong Passwords
It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about a personal Facebook account or a multi-billion dollar company’s LinkedIn profile, the truth is that that account’s password is its single most important line of defence against hackers and cyber-attacks.
In fact, without a password, criminal could simply sign in to your accounts, changing your passwords and settings, and basically taking over your accounts’ identities.
On the other hand, when you have a password, it becomes significantly more challenging for anybody else to access your account. Of course, that’s not to say that setting a password is the be all and end all of digital hygiene.
In fact, if you’re using a basic password like “1234abcd”, or anything else that’s extremely common and easy to guess, you should know that it’s only a matter of time before your account is compromised.
According to InfoSecInstitute, internet users have a 31%, or roughly a 1 in 3 chance of having their account hacked.
Therefore, it’s vital that you use a strong password, containing at least 8 to 10 letters, number, and special symbols, on all your accounts. Which brings me to my next point.
Use Different Passwords
There aren’t too many people out there who use multiple passwords for different accounts. In fact, most people simply create one strong password and then reuse it for all of their online accounts.
The problem with this is that, even if you have an extremely strong password that contains letters, numbers, and symbols, if a hacker or fraudster were to access that one password, instead of gaining access to only one of your accounts, they would all of a sudden be able to access ALL of your accounts.
In fact, a recent 2019 survey by Google found that roughly 65% of internet users reuse the same password for multiple account.
To illustrate the importance of avoiding this, imagine what would happen if a hacker, or hacking software, were able to identify this password?
They’d be able to gain access to not only one, but all of your accounts that use the same password.
Therefore, it’s vital to always use different, strong passwords for each one of your online account.
But, unfortunately, the human memory isn’t as good as we sometimes like to believe.
So when a person has a few different online accounts, maybe even dozens of accounts, it can be extremely difficult to try and remember separate strong passwords for each.
Of course, you could always write your passwords down on a piece a paper and store it somewhere safe, right?
In fact, having a written, hard copy of your account credential is considered extremely poor digital hygiene.
I mean, think about it, if somebody were to break into your office, and you had a list of all your account passwords taped to the wall, you’d literally be handing the the keys to your online presence over to the criminal.
So what’s the best way to store strong, secure passwords?
Use A Password Manager
Password managers, such as LastPass and Keeper, are designed to help internet users create, share, and store their secure passwords for a multitude of online accounts.
In other words, by using a password manager, you’ll easily be able to connect your online accounts, generating strong, secure passwords for each one, as well as being able to store everything securely within the encrypted software itself.
This way, you’ll never have to rack your brain trying to come up with or remember an 18-digit password.
Best Digital Hygiene Practices
There’s no doubting the fact that there are more people than ever using the internet.
And while most of these people are normal, law-abiding citizens, there are also countless thieves, crooks, fraudsters, and criminals, lurking online, waiting for unsuspecting internet users to fall into their hands.
Especially if you deal with other companies, or customer accounts, it’s more important than ever to use different, strong passwords for all of your online accounts.
Don’t let yourself be a victim!
Stay smart, stay safe, and keep on being awesome!
Have any other digital hygiene tips? I’d love to hear about what you have to say in the comments below.