Top 7 Ways to Ensure Your Devices and Online Accounts Stay Safe

Cyber security is now an issue of grave concern to just about anyone. Personal data is constantly being targeted and data fraud and identity theft are becoming common. Just like the steps one takes to stay safe in the real world, it is essential to have safe habits in the online world to keep your devices and accounts secure.

Here are seven things you should do to keep all your online accounts and devices safe and secure:

  1. Change your passwords
  2. Check account and device activity
  3. Check your connected applications
  4. Monitor what your computer is running
  5. Check Privacy settings of your apps
  6. Keep an eye on who uses your Wi-Fi
  7. Update your devices often

 

Change your passwords

Changing your passwords often can save you from various types of data breeches and leaks. Your accounts will be a lot safer if you pick a secure password and change it often. Don’t use a multitude of accounts but stick to few key accounts that you can monitor.

If changing your password is a challenging job for you then use a reliable password manager to help you out. Choose a password manager that has the best ratings and is widely used or create your own unique password which is very difficult for others to guess.

Check account and device activity

Most accounts will now let you check recent account activity. If you notice anything suspicious take action immediately. Similarly you will also get notifications when you account is accessed from a new device which can enable you to understand device activity better.

You should be able to see recent logins and devices which you have authorized. By monitoring account and device activity you can also block any devices that look suspicious. Set up alerts for new logins from other devices to prevent data breeches.

Check your connected applications

Hackers are more likely to use third party apps connected to your devices rather than try to hack your device’s account itself. Don’t sign up for apps that look suspicious or that you don’t require. Having control over the apps you have on your devices can help you stay safe and also help in other ways such as save battery and storage space.

Monitor what your computer is running

Data breeches can happen when you least expect it and downloading something from the internet can usually be the cause. Be cautious when you download something or install new software. Similarly you should occasionally check what is running in the background of your computer and also do a quick audit of your browser and any extensions you may have downloaded.

On your Windows computer, the Task Manager will give you a list of everything running on the computer. If something looks suspicious, it can be a good idea to run a search online to find out more about it. Uninstall any add-ons or extensions you don’t need any longer. You can do the same on your Mac using the Activity Monitor.

Check Privacy settings of your apps

Go to the Applications section of your settings to know more about the privacy settings of the apps installed. If any app seems to have access to data that it does not need to perform its functions then it can be a good idea to be vigilant and get rid of it. Similarly if apps are requesting for more personal information than usual then investigate.

Both Android and iOS apps will let you view privacy settings and see the permissions given to the App.  As a caution, stay away from apps that you don’t really need and prefer apps with higher ratings and more users.

Keep an eye on who uses your Wi-Fi

Have a password for your home Wi-Fi network to prevent it from being used by others. When using public Wi-Fi, stay safe by using a VPN and using your router settings to find connected devices. It can also be a good idea to change your Wi-Fi password regularly; this can prevent data breeches and unwanted usage and expense.

Update your devices often

Updating your devices is very important for their overall security. Download the latest upgrade for your devices and accounts and install them to have the latest security. Have an up-to-date anti-virus protection service is also essential.  Remember that the older the software, the higher the threat.