Protecting your personal information: 6 Best practices for staying safe online

Protecting your personal information: 6 Best practices for staying safe online

Whether you're streaming, shopping, or simply browsing the internet, your sensitive data can be vulnerable to various online threats. Cybercriminals could steal your login credentials and personal information to conduct identity theft and other malicious activities.

But don't worry, there are plenty of things you can do to protect yourself and your personal information. Here are six best practices for staying safe online.

1. Create strong and unique passwords

Don’t use common or easy-to-guess passwords like "123456" or "password." These types of passwords are extremely vulnerable to brute force attacks, in which hackers use automated software to try numerous combinations of usernames and passwords until they find the right one.

A great alternative to a password is a passphrase, which is a string of multiple words. It is longer and thus harder to crack for cybercriminals but easier for users to remember than random combinations of characters.

Moreover, don’t reuse the same password across different accounts since this practice puts your other accounts at risk if one account is compromised.

2. Use a password manager

A password manager is a software application that serves as an encrypted vault for all of your login credentials. You can access all stored login details by entering your master password. This means you only have to memorize a single password or passphrase instead of multiple passwords.

Moreover, when you’re creating a new account or updating an existing password, a password manager can automatically generate a strong and unique password for you. This makes creating passwords simple and efficient, and reduces the risk of using weak or duplicate passwords.

3. Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA)

MFA requires you to provide more than one form of verification, such as a fingerprint scan or a six-digit code, in addition to your password. With MFA enabled, your accounts and data will be better protected, as cybercriminals will have to meet all verification requirements to access your accounts.

4. Be cautious of phishing attempts

Cybercriminals typically use phishing to trick individuals into revealing their personal information. They often send emails posing as legitimate organizations, asking you to download malicious files or click on suspicious links that will lead you to a fraudulent website.

To protect yourself from phishing attacks, be skeptical of unsolicited emails, especially those requesting personal information. Scrutinize the sender's email address and be wary of clicking links or downloading attachments in emails.

In most cases, it's best to ignore or junk suspicious emails. But if you want to verify the authenticity of the email, get in touch with the supposed sender directly using their official contact details (not those in the email).

5. Use secure Wi-Fi networks

When connecting to the internet, be mindful of the Wi-Fi networks you use. Public Wi-Fi networks, such as those in coffee shops or airports, are often unsecured and can expose your personal information to cybercriminals. If you really need to connect to public Wi-Fi, use a virtual private network to encrypt your internet connection.

6. Be mindful of the information you share online

Once something is posted online, it's difficult to completely erase it from the internet. That’s why you shouldn’t post sensitive details, such as your address, contact number, or financial information, on public online platforms. Also, make sure to adjust your privacy settings on social media accounts to restrict access to your personal information.

By following these best practices, you can significantly enhance your online safety and protect your personal information from falling into the wrong hands.

Quicktech’s comprehensive cybersecurity solutions can keep all types of cyberthreats at bay while ensuring businesses stay compliant with relevant regulations. Book a FREE consultation with us today.