Although we don’t pay much attention to it, the internet has become embedded in almost everything we do these days. We use social media to stay connected, we do our shopping online, we have streaming services for entertainment or we use internet connected devices to study online or work remotely. We’re living in a digital world and we’re taking full advantage of it.
But for all the advantages we enjoy, there are also drawbacks to consider. Data safety is definitely one of the most pressing issues related to the internet. Like it or not, every foray into the online comes with significant risks for the data you share. Online threats are everywhere, and if you choose to ignore this reality and fail to take any measures to protect yourself from malicious intentions, you can end up regretting it later. So here are some smart ways to protect your data and keep cybersecurity threats at bay.
Be creative with your passwords
Having strong passwords for your accounts is the first line of defense when it comes to privacy and data protection. But more often than not, people get a bit lazy about it and use the same easy-to-guess password for everything. It’s a rookie mistake, yet most internet users are guilty of it. That’s exactly what hackers are waiting for – a small chink in your armor to take advantage of – and they’re getting smarter by the day.
Using weak passwords is basically like sending an open invitation for cyber criminals to access your accounts and do whatever they please with your data. So, get creative and come up with strong passwords that no one can guess, change them from time to time and don’t share them with anyone.
Stick to secure networks
We’re all familiar with the joy of navigating the internet, but not all of us have the presence of mind to think about network security before we start scrolling, clicking and sharing sensitive information. It’s one thing when you access the internet from your home or at work, as these connections are usually safe and there’s not much to worry about, but when you use a public Wi-Fi in a café you’re exposed to countless cyber threats. The easy solution is to avoid public Wi-Fi if you want to access important data, but if you do need to use one, you should at least use a VPN service to stay safe.
Use a reliable data storage solution
You have to store your data somewhere to keep it protected and make sure you can access it with ease whenever you need it. Experts advise to have it stored in more than one place, because it’s always wise to have a plan B in case one of your copies gets lost or damaged. There are plenty of options to store and create data backups, from USBs and external hard drives to network attached storage or the cloud.
Of course, all these data storage and backup solutions have their pros and cons, but there’s nothing stopping you from employing additional tools to tackle the drawbacks. For example, you can use a VPN to boost Synology’s security by encrypting the data you transfer. It’s important to learn about your options and choose the method that works best for you.
Know your privacy policies
It’s not the most fun activity out there, but learning about the privacy policies and settings before you access a website or start using an app can have your back covered. Yes, going through all that small writing can be boring and tiresome, but it will help you understand how your information and personal data will be used. Choose the privacy settings that make sense for you or if you’re not happy with the privacy options provided, simply take your business elsewhere.
Mind your clicks
The famous tagline think before you click is more topical than ever. With malware and cybercriminals lurking around every corner, you have to be extra cautious before you click on a link or access a website. It’s better to approach everything with a healthy dose of skepticism than to click randomly and regret it later. Since phishing scams are getting more sophisticated, you should use your better judgement when you receive shady emails or files from strangers or when someone asks you to click on a link you know nothing about. If the source doesn’t seem trustworthy, refrain from clicking and ignore these messages.
These days people seem to put their entire lives on display on their social media accounts, and most users don’t see anything wrong with it. But the more information you share with the world, the easiest it is for attackers to get to know you better and gain access to your private data. Privacy settings are there for a reason and you’ll be much safer if you restrict access to the things you post online to a limited group of people, and avoid sharing sensitive information.