You’ve worried about who is following you at night or if your phone will still be at the restaurant after realizing you left it.

In today’s climate, you’ve got much more to worry about, especially since we have a substantial online presence.

BussinesTech breaks down the We Are Social report and says:

“Connecting via computers, South Africans are the world’s second-biggest internet addicts, spending almost 5 hours a day, on average, glued to our screens.”

The other side of this coin is the unknown/unseen vulnerabilities that come with regularly using the internet.

We’ve compiled tips to help you keep your personal information from threats.

Protecting Your Identity

Secure Password 

The first step in protecting your identity as simple as it may seem is using a secure password. 

Passwords are amongst the most natural things to hack, especially if you’re not going by best practice to set it. 

How-To Geek explains the traditional and stong way of setting a secure password is: 

  • Has 12 Characters, Minimum: You need to choose a password that’s long enough. There’s no minimum password length everyone agrees on, but you should generally go for passwords that are a minimum of 12 to 14 characters in length. A longer password would be even better.
  • Includes Numbers, Symbols, Capital Letters, and Lower-Case Letters: Use a mix of different types of characters to make the password harder to crack.
  • Isn’t a Dictionary Word or Combination of Dictionary Words: Stay away from obvious dictionary words and combinations of dictionary words. Any word on its own is bad. Any combination of a few words, especially if they’re obvious, is also bad. For example, “house” is a terrible password. “Red house” is also very bad.
  • Doesn’t Rely on Obvious Substitutions: Don’t use common substitutions, either — for example, “H0use” isn’t strong just because you’ve replaced an o with a 0. That’s just obvious.

Don’t use personal information as a password. 

We all fall victim to setting convenient passwords and opt for:

  • ID numbers/ Birthdates 
  • Phone numbers 
  • Relatives names 

Using combinations associated with your personal information leaves you quite vulnerable to cybercriminals. 

Therefore if someone gains access to your information, it’s easy for them to try your personal information with your online banking, and emails. 

In the hopes of using your information and 

Back-Up Your Data 

Backing up your data regularly on your phone and PC ensures you alone always have access to your pieces of information. 

In the case your devices crash or is infected with malware, it means you’ll be able to recover your information. 

Above all, you can’t replace everything, and the possibilities of economic losses are enormous when you fail to store your data safely. 

Use two-factor authentication 

Two is better than one!

Activating two-factor authentication on your social media, emails, and uber means once you log in, you’ll be sent a code by the site to your phone. 

Depending on the service you may be required to every time you log in or when you’re using a new device or web browser. 

The Verge shows you how to enable two-factor authentication on some services. 

Lie on security questions 

“What was the house number and street name you lived in as a child?” or In what town or city did you meet your spouse/partner?

Do you think such generic questions are the answer to keeping your personal information safe? 

An intruder can quickly search for you, go to your social media pages prey and possibly get the answer to which city you met the love of your life. 

However, you can lie, answer the security questions with false information.  

Afraid you may forget the answers, you can use a password manager.  Several sites offer for you to create a custom security question, in this case, always take this option. 

To sum up, data is one of the most valuable currencies out there. 

Risk management should be a high priority, so your personal information never lands in the wrong hands, costing you your identity and money. 

1 / 17