In the tech era that we live in it is more important than ever to keep your personal data secure from hackers and intruders. With the rise of Prism, a lot of people want to be incognito from big business and the government as well. There are some easy solutions you can follow to keep your devices and information from getting into the wrong hands.
Common mistakes people make keeping their personal data secure
1. By not locking your cell phone. You could just leave it on the table in public for someone to steal all your information. They could easily auto-login to your accounts and post anything they wanted, or use those social log-ins that are setup with your websites all over the internet.
2. Not encrypting your data on mobile devices. Your USB drive could easily be stolen and put into another computer, where they can steal all of your files and even install malware or viruses onto your flash drive that will infect any computer it is plugged in to.
Encrypt your SIM card in case your phone is ever stolen, or take it out if you are selling your old cell phone. You should install an app that will locate your phone if it is lost, or even swipe the drive clean remotely if it is stolen.
3. Privacy questions. A lot of sites make you fill out security questions when setting up a new account. Most of this information people are posting themselves on social networks, and the rest wouldn’t be hard to find with a little digging. If your security question is your maiden name or where you were born, don’t you think anyone can easily find out that information?
4. Not backing up your data. Sure, that old external hard drive has all your photos and family videos on it. Eventually though, as with most technology, it could fail. Not only should your important data and files be stored on your computer and external hard drive, you should also backup your files in the cloud. It is very easy to setup and with the use of IFTTT you can automatically backup your photos as you take them from your phone onto Google Drive and Dropbox. Human error causes data loss 11% of the time according to these facts about data loss, so make sure you have everything backed up across different storage solutions.
How to know if you’ve been hacked
If your e-mail was hacked to send out spam, you will see tons of bounce back e-mails. You can tell a website has been hacked if the site looks oddly different and something is just off. If your computer is going extremely slow, it could be a sign of a virus. You could get strange notifications saying that you have a virus and to clean it, and it isn’t coming from your anti-virus software.
Your PC is acting slower than normal, and maybe you have a notification saying your computer has been infected and alerts you to clean your system using their program (which is actually a fake anti-virus or anti-spyware alert). Anything running in your task manager that you didn’t install give it a Google search. Sometimes malicious viruses are running in the background and you don’t even know it, so either know your running processes or get a Mac.
Whenever you are suspicious that you have a virus, be sure to install and run an anti-virus checker if you don’t have one already. If you do, maybe you need to upgrade to a paid version to get live security.
If you go through being hacked or getting any virus, take every measure you possibly can to not let it happen again. If you can’t backup or restore your device properly, find an expert in your area to get help.
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