For many years now, we have not been using our computers just for work. In fact, with how many tablets and smartphones most families have, many of us are plugged into the larger wired world nearly 24/7. And, even when we are not actively using our devices, they are often still connected to the internet. All of this means that all of us must make sure that we keep our computers, tablets, and smartphones secure.
Acknowledge The Threat
The first step to protecting your connected devices and your personal data is to accept the fact that you must do so. To do this, simply remember that most of your professional, financial and banking, and personal lives can be accessed through the information contained within our computers, tablets, and smartphones. And, if an ill-doer does this, our identities can be stolen which can lead to years of heartache and thousands of dollars lost.
Passwords Are The First Line Of Defense
Once you acknowledge the threat you will need to strengthen your first line of defense: your passwords. Make sure that all of your devices are protected by passwords that are actually turned on and then that all of your online accounts are likewise protected by passwords.
These passwords should not be the same; however, they can be similar. And, make sure you use special characters, upper and lower case letters, and numbers to make up your passwords. Examples of some good series of emails to use are !Luv$anta@xmas1a for, say, your smartphone and !Luv$anta@xmas2a for your laptop. The only difference between the two is the number that is second from the end. And, when you update your password each month, simply change the final letter in the password. By the way, these passwords are easy to remember because they read as “I love Santa at Christmas.”
Keep Business Separate From Personal
If you are doing your work on your personal devices, stop if possible. You need to keep your confidential work data out of your personal life and visa-versa.
Install, Regularly Run, And Update Your Anti-Virus Software
Do not cut corners here. Only select software that has a proven track record of protecting connected devices from viruses. Oh, and do not forget to install anti-virus software on your phones and tablets too!