Digital Hygiene Tips Crucial for Online Security
Need a few digital hygiene tips? Keep reading and below, we’ll go over 6 crucial digital hygiene tips to improve your online security.
Globally, telecommuting, remote, and distance employment has increased annually.
CNBC.com reports that more than two-thirds of people work away from the office at least once a week, a number that is expected to stay constant for the years to come.
For most, the idea of online security is paramount, especially when dealing with confidential information.
That’s why it’s important to ensure your monitoring your digital hygiene online. To help you get started, here are five tips to keep your confidential information secure online:
Always Enable Two-Step Authentication
When you sign into various web services, a password is often the only thing separating you from your confidential information. Although it’s faster, when that password falls into the wrong hands, it can be catastrophic.
Enabling two-step authentication is important to keeping your online information secure, acting as an extra security buffer for various web services.
Two-factor authentication works by requiring additional verification, normally through a mobile phone number or email address. If your account has been compromised, access becomes restricted unless the user is able to provide this secondary form of verification.
Use a Reputable VPN Provider
A VPN (a Virtual Private Network) creates a secure internet connection for its users. A VPN masks your IP address, which is crucial when trying to maintain good digital hygiene.
When you connect to a VPN, any data transferred from your IP address becomes encrypted, preventing outsiders from monitoring your internet activity.
Lock Your Devices
Whether you use your devices all day long, every day of the week for work or you’re more of a part-time technology user, it’s important to lock your smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other handheld devices whenever possible.
Whether you set a pin, password, pattern, or use a biometric password like a fingerprint or a facial scan, having your devices locked will act as the first line of defense in case it’s ever stolen.
Disable Mobile Location Settings
Many smartphones have phone location tracking enabled as a default factory setting. Phone tracking uses mobile phone towers and wireless hotspots to determine your location.
This location can be further accessed by various apps and games installed on your device. If you’re trying to maintain good digital hygiene, it’s best to disable this feature on your phone.
Additionally, check your phone’s app permissions to review any default permissions that were granted upon installation.
Whenever possible, deny the location feature on the app (note: some apps require location settings enabled to function properly).
Ensure All Software and Applications are Up to Date
Companies often release system, software, or application updates that address known security or performance issues.
These updates are crucial for your digital hygiene, as they address any known problems or concerns for users. Make sure to set up any software or operating system updates automatically, as outdated systems leave you vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
Additionally, always check that your anti-virus software and firewall settings are updated as well. Schedule automatic deep virus scanning weekly and ensure that quick virus scans are done daily.
Always Use a Password Manager
A password manager works by creating, retrieving, and tracking passwords for multiple accounts.
These services ensure that all passwords generated are long, random, and difficult to decode, making it nearly impossible for hackers to gain access. Password managers also use encryption to store credit card numbers, security questions, and PINS.
As a result, your online information remains safe and secure, while only having to remember one password.
If you’re working online, whether as a freelancer or as a small business that works with remote employees, it’s vital that you take the necessary precautions by practicing good digital hygiene to avoid becoming a victim of a cybersecurity threat.