The Viking Blog

How to keep your personal data secure

How to keep your personal data secure

We already have advice for keeping your business data secure, but what about your personal information? If iCloud hacks and identity theft have you concerned, learn how to protect your privacy with our helpful guide below.

Keep documents from getting into the wrong hands

Paperwork such as bank statements and invoices contain private information that, in the wrong hands, can put you at risk of fraud.

We recommend storing all confidential documentation, such as your passport and gas bills, in a lockable filing cabinet. As well as keeping everything organised, this will help prevent important paperwork being stolen. Keep the key well-hidden in a different room.

When you need to dispose of letters, printouts, pay slips and more, it’s important to shred. Fraudsters have been known to go through bin bags in search of private information, so always use a cross-cut shredder before putting paperwork in the bin.

Secure your devices

All devices that can connect to the internet, such as tablets and smartphones, need to be protected from viruses, spyware and other malicious digital attacks. Make sure you install security software from a trusted brand like McAfee and keep it up to date.

You should also set up strong passcodes that prevent unauthorised parties from accessing your device in the event of loss or theft.

Use strong passwords online

Although it may seem like a lot of hassle, having a unique password for every website is worthwhile. Login details from one website can be compromised and used to access others, so think of a way to keep every password distinct.

They need to be strong, too. Where possible, use a mixture of capital letters, lowercase letters, numbers and special characters to create at least a 12-character password. Never use guessable combinations such as your date of birth or mother’s maiden name, or dictionary words that hacker programs can easily crack.Make sure to commit your passwords to memory, as they should not be written down or saved on your computer. Don’t let browsers or websites ‘remember’ your login details for you, as this leaves you vulnerable if someone else gains access to your device.

Making secure online payments

Protecting your bank details is especially important, so you need to be vigilant when making payments online. Before entering card information, verify that there’s a padlock next to the checkout page URL, and look out for the secure https:// rather than the http:// address.

Security and social media

On social media websites like Facebook, you should be careful about what you share and who can see it. Always maximise privacy settings so strangers can’t see what you’re up to, and never post confidential information like your credit card number or address.

Be careful about who you add and talk to, as well. The same goes for forums and chat rooms, where fraudsters can use fake identities and strike up ‘friendships’ in an effort to extract personal details.

We hope this guide helps protect you against identity theft and other types of fraud. If you’d like more information, consult the Safer Internet and Make IT Secure websites.

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