Securing Your Digital Footprint: Best Practices for Personal Cybersecurity

Walking on the beach, trekking through muddy terrain, accidentally stepping on puddles… All these actions have something in common. They leave footprints. And when you leave footprints, most of the time, you would want to avoid leaving a mark. Especially when you enter a clean office building or the insides of your home.

This practice of cleaning up should also transcend into the digital world. Your digital footprint leaves a mark everywhere you go online. And with more of people’s personal and professional lives being conducted online, you become more vulnerable to cybersecurity breaches

Thus, it is essential for everyone who engages in the digital world to secure their digital footprint. Be sure to pay attention to several areas of your digital presence to cover all bases.

Storing Basic Information

Basic account information must be among the first things you should secure. Use a password manager that will encrypt your usernames and passwords so only you can access them. Additionally, avoid using the exact same, predictable passwords – stop using your mother’s maiden name or your first pet’s name. Use complex passwords for each of your online accounts – a mixture of letters, numbers, and random characters. 

With the onset of various applications, even online meetings need to have secure passwords to prevent uninvited and unwanted participants. If you become complacent, you automatically become more vulnerable to hackers.

Safeguarding Social Media Accounts

Social media has replaced phone calls and snail mail in many parts of the world. People are now communicating more frequently through these social platforms, enjoying the many features that they offer. Emojis, GIFs, memes, and other types of digital media are popularly used to express feelings and convey emotions.

But social media platforms also present many risks. Although it can be very tempting to display all your information, or even brag about it, you must not do so. Why? Simply because you are giving more opportunities to users with bad intentions to access your personal data. Be sure to review your privacy settings. Yes, this may lead to fewer friend requests or followers on your profile, but it will keep your data safe (or as safe as possible) from prying eyes.

Taking Care of Your Personal Finance

Banks and financial institutions have also tapped the online market, launching apps, services, and promotions to reach new clients. You must take the same precautions when managing your finances online as you do when you visit a physical bank.

Although these financial apps were developed with security as a priority, don’t underestimate the cunning nature of individuals with malicious intents. Monitor your spending habits and stay on top of your budget so you can easily detect any suspicious activity and unexpected charges in real-time. 

Staying on top of your finances also means regularly reviewing credit card and bank statements. Even the smallest discrepancies must immediately be reported so you can dispute them. One of the best features of finance apps is the immediate alerts you can receive. This way, you can monitor your cash flow and stay informed of all account activities. 

Monitoring your finances in the digital age also applies to taking out loans. Only transact with reputable companies to ensure you apply for and receive a secured online loan. This will give you the peace of mind that your data is protected while transacting digitally. 

Securing Your Network and Device

Your digital footprint isn’t limited to software and apps – it also extends to the devices you use. Don’t be complacent about this – you must put as much importance on securing your hardware. Install updated anti-virus software on all your devices. If you regularly work outside, make sure that your connection is secure and on a trusted network.

Also, you can take advantage of the extra security features that your devices provide. For instance, Apple’s Face ID can secure your devices if they fall into the wrong hands. Also, avoid storing sensitive information on your devices. But if you must do so, be responsible about it and activate encryption or multi-factor authentication. 

Conclusion

Cybersecurity breaches are a threat to everyone online – whether you are a mother who just wants to post fun selfies with your child, or a big-time social media influencer with thousands of followers, you can become a target.

Thus, no matter where you fall in the digital world, you must take the appropriate measures so you can protect your digital footprint. And although securing your digital footprint is an ongoing process, it is necessary for ensuring a secure online experience. 

Being vigilant about your data security will help you enjoy the convenience of the internet. You no longer have to worry about your data being accessed when it falls into the wrong hands. And in case of any security incident, you will be able to limit any potential damage caused by the attack.

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