The digital identity of the 21st century human is their life. As dramatic as that sounds if it is thought about, it becomes glaringly true. There are only about a few things done these days that do not involve the digital. Every other thing from eating, paying bills, keeping up with loved ones, finding business partners to even going camping involves your digital identity. So it makes absolute sense for consumers to prioritise their online safety in an effort to save their digital identity from theft, data breach and data fraud.
Digital consumers are at a high risk of data breach as there are numerous online scams and malicious networks ready to steal information for nefarious purposes.
Making a conscious effort to secure our digital footprints is now more than ever an absolute necessity.
Here are 10 security tips to help you better secure your digital identity:
An easy but often overlooked tip to online security is the simple strong password. As tempting as it is to use an overly simple password or to use the same password for different platforms, it is highly inadvisable. Strengthen passwords using multiple characters and numbers and always use a different password per application.
Two Factor Authentication
An additional but valid step, authenticator apps like Google’s and Microsoft’s offer easy and strong protection. 2FA works by generating codes after login which change every minute. For additional security, a separate device which only one person can access can be used for the 2FA app.
Before logging onto a site or even clicking it, ensure that the site’s url starts with “https://”. The ‘s’ stands for secure and is therefore less likely to have malicious intent.
Weird Friend Requests
Facebook is a huge repository of personal information and as such can be used to get crucial information about people. Requests from unknown people are not to be accepted as they could be malicious. Also a quick check through present friends can reveal virtual unknowns. Change settings to “friends only” so only trusted people can access personal data.
Emails that request for personal data should never be responded to as no bank or company would ever request for pins or data via email. Such emails should be deleted immediately.
Wary of Free Gifts
Free or public WiFi while sweet and enticing can be used to access private information from devices especially in really public places with heavy traffic. The safest bet would be to steer clear of Trojans bearing gifts.
Hide Your IP
Apps like HMA! can be used to cloak digital identities to prevent malicious sites from tracking digital movements and collating personal data for unscrupulous use.
Turn Off Image Auto-Load
Tiny images contained in emails can be used to capture personal data by giving phishers information on location, email validity and time of email loading. It is however hard to turn this off with email boxes like Gmail.
Take Caution with Online Games
Online games and quizzes while fun and lighthearted can easily be used to gain personal data. This is common with personal attacks and can be used by cyber criminals to access security questions. Caution should be applied while answering that question thread on twitter.
Shred, not Discard
Documents containing vital information should be properly discarded and not just thrown in the trash. Attackers can go through trash and gain highly sensitive information. This should not be seen as paranoia but as being proactive.