The Nerd Side Of Life

How to Keep Your Personal Info Safe from Hackers

Despite what the media might make it seem like, big businesses and the filthy rich are not the only ones that hackers are interested in. In fact, anybody can be a target of cybercrime, and lots of hackers are just looking for any opportunity. Your personal data can be a goldmine for somebody who is up to no good, which is why it is so important to understand the various best practices that you can put in place to protect your personal information from cybercriminals. 

Be Careful on Public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi can feel like a godsend. When you don’t have any phone signal or you’ve got work to do when you’re out, connecting to the free Wi-Fi in Starbucks when you grab a coffee is so easy. But these convenient networks are often completely unsecured, leaving anybody who is connected to them very vulnerable to ‘man in the middle’ attacks where hackers intercept personal information like log-in details and financial information. If you’re logged onto a public network without a VPN, avoid making online purchases such as depositing money to, using mobile banking apps or anything else that involves sensitive info. 

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Download Legitimate Apps

Downloading dodgy apps can be another way to inadvertently open up your personal information to hackers. Sometimes, apps that are hosted on third-party websites or app stores contain malware and can be used to access private information from your phone once you have downloaded it. To stay safe, only download apps that are available from the official app store for your phone. 

Keep Your Devices Secure

Having a password on your phone or other devices can be annoying if only you use it, but it could save you in the event of your phone being lost or stolen. If your phone falls into the wrong hands, strong password protection, or biometric protection where your phone needs your fingerprint or your face to gain access into it, will prevent the data that’s stored on there from ending up stolen too. If you lose your phone or it is stolen, contact the network provider who can disconnect the phone and use remote deactivation programs like the Find My Phone app to keep your data safe. Change any passwords for accounts or apps that can be accessed from the device, especially ones with sensitive personal information like mobile banking. 

Avoid Auto-Login

Auto-login can be a convenient option for our daily device use, but it also provides hackers with an easy way to access personal data by simply opening a website or app. In addition, it’s also important to use different passwords for all your accounts as keeping them too similar could mean that you’ve given a hacker access to everything after they manage to get into one account. If you don’t think you’ll remember multiple passwords, consider using a password manager tool or keeping them stored in a locked note on your phone. 

Anybody could be a hacker’s next target, and your personal data is more valuable than you think. Keep these tips in mind to keep your personal information safe.

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