Organize and Protect Your Online Data

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@finn-piersonFinn Pierson

Online security is a vitally important consideration in this day and age. From doxxing to ransomware to identity theft, hacking online accounts is one of the most popular ways for the modern criminal makes his living. Keeping your online data organized and secure can take many forms, but it's not really an optional safety measure anymore. You must do all you can to protect your online data. Here are a few options for how to achieve that goal.

Basic Safety Precautions

First of all, there are basic, practical steps you can take to protect yourself. Don't tell anyone else your passwords. Do install reliable virus protection and security software. Do use a network firewall to keep out hackers. This is the digital equivalent of making sure that your home has solid doors that lock, and only you have the key. It should be second nature to you, if you have any online presence at all. Exercise common sense about suspicious emails or popups, and be sure of any link before you click it. This is the digital equivalent of being cautious with strangers and being way of who you trust.

Minimize Accounts

A step up from the basics, it's wise to keep your online presence as minimal as possible. If you're not using an account anymore, get rid of it. If you don't need to make an account in the first place, don't do it. This isn't to say that you should have no online presence, of course. Your online life and socializing is just as important to your happiness as any other part of your life. Just be careful to close the door behind you when you leave a place, so to speak. Open doors can be used as infiltration points for hackers.

Password Protocols

As previously mentioned, it's important not to compromise your passwords by sharing them, but it's worth mentioning further password security measures. For example, using the same password across multiple websites is inadvisable. As a general rule, longer passwords are stronger passwords. Passwords should contain more than just letters: punctuation, numbers and other symbols can make your password even stronger. 
It's also looking at the rules that the website itself has set up. If a website can email you your password, then that means that website has a record of your password. This is inherently insecure. Where possible, opt for two factor authentication, where a code is sent to your phone as an additional security measure. This means that any potential hacker would need to know your password and steal your phone before they could have your accounts. Password protocols are your main line of defense against hackers, so be careful with them.

Updates

An underrated but very important part of your security is staying on top of updates. Whether those are system and software updates to patch holes or email updates to keep you informed about any potential leaks or breaches, it is your responsibility to be aware and to keep yourself informed. Now, this isn't to say you shouldn't exercise caution before installing an update. You want to make sure that the update itself it's from a reputable source, first of all. You also may want to check that the updates themselves don't create security gaps. You can do that by checking reviews and news.

Monitoring

Diligence is key. Maintaining password protocols, starting on top of updates, and minimizing the number of accounts you have all feed into this final point: monitor your accounts. Banks can only do so much to catch suspicious activity, you must also do your part. Just as you must be aware of your surroundings in an unfamiliar or dangerous environment, and be careful to lock your doors when you leave the house, so too must you watch your online accounts for suspicious or unauthorized activity. Ultimately, the person with the most power to protect your online presence is you.

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