In today’s digital age, data breaches occur practically everywhere — front, right, and center. Some of the biggest data breaches of the 21st century happened to even the biggest brands whose digital security infrastructures are worth billions of dollars: Adobe, Yahoo, eBay, and Microsoft, to name a few. Even the Federal and State governments in the U.S. fell victim to hackers who exposed sensitive records of national importance — the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, Office of the Texas Attorney General, and Georgia Secretary of State Office, among others.
What these data show is that practically everyone’s digital privacy can be targeted by individuals and groups with illicit goals in mind, such as stealing bank and credit card information to commit fraud or steal peoples’ hard-earned money. However, this doesn’t mean that you’d just accept the fact and allow your digital privacy to be fair game for hackers.
If you’re looking for ways to protect your digital content from being breached, here are five simple tricks to do it:
- Store your sensitive data/files in a portable hard drive. This trick lets you access all your important and sensitive personal files across different electronic devices like laptops, smartphones, and desktop computers. It also protects your data from potential hacks, as opposed to storing files in your email account or in a dedicated cloud storage platform. A portable hard drive also allows you to periodically do a data backup of the files stored in your personal computer so you won’t lose them in case something happens in your device’s built-in hard drive.
- Use a trusted VPN when browsing the web. A virtual private network (VPN) uses SSL securities together with several other advanced privacy protection methods to prevent hackers from tracking a user’s online searches and activities. To date, VPN offers the best digital activity protection, so it’s a tool that you must use. There are numerous paid VPNs that you can avail of; just make sure to do some research to find the one with features that best suit your peculiar security requirements.
- Encrypt your emails. Our email accounts are among the busiest parts of our digital life since we access them practically every week, if not daily. As such, you must protect your emails through encryption. There are open source app plug-ins such as GPG for Mail available for Apple products. TrueCrypt is another excellent data encryption tool that you must consider. No matter which email encryption plug-in or program to use, the benefits of having secure email accounts will be worth the little trouble of signing up or installing one on your devices.
- Don’t skip those OS security updates. We get it: those prompts asking you to install the latest security updates for your device’s operating system (OS) can quite annoying sometimes, but they are a necessary annoyance you must bear with. Those updates often contain critical security patches that offer enhanced protection to all the digital content that you have stored in your device’s hard drive.So, just spare a few minutes of your time to run those updates to beef up the security of your device. In fact, you can just tick the automatic software update installation (if available), so you won’t miss out on future OS updates. It’s an important trick to securing your digital privacy at this age where hackers are becoming increasingly skilled at what they do.
- Use strong passwords with a password manager. Do not, under any circumstance, use passwords that are very common that even a low-tier hacker (or just somebody who’s out to do you harm) can easily crack in a few seconds. Also, do away with passwords that anyone with a decent knowledge about you can guess, such as your birthday, mother’s maiden name, and the like.You should also consider using a password manager, which will manage all of your unique passwords and make the hacker’s job incredibly difficult. With this handy tool, you’ll only need to memorize a single password and the password manager will take care of the rest for you.
Just follow these digital privacy protection tricks and you’ll have an easy time securing your precious digital content.