As our world becomes increasingly digitalized, everything from our work documents to personal information, such as phone numbers, addresses, and sometimes social security numbers remains online. It’s important to know how to keep your sensitive information safe and out of the hands of scammers or cyber-attackers. Being aware of your vulnerability will help safeguard your personal information, as well as prevent these devastating and sometimes traumatic cyberattacks from happening to you.

Secure Passwords & Permissions

One of the first and easiest ways to safeguard your information is by using secure passwords and permissions for all sites. Be aware of the permissions you allow apps or websites, as these can often be the way in for scammers. Read the fine print and fully understand what you are and aren’t allowing. Apps running in the background, such as location services, can be much more invasive than you initially realize.

As you’ve probably heard your parents lecture about, using the same password for every app or account increases your risk for hackers to successfully obtain personal information. Make your passwords are strong and diverse, even if this means it’s less convenient for you.

Update Your Devices Regularly

Another easy way to increase your security is by updating your phone, computer, or tablet to the latest software whenever possible. As our world becomes increasingly digitalized, major technology corporations such as Apple or Microsoft, have an interest in protecting their customers’ data. They spend billions of dollars a year on security and protection to built trust with their product users. Avoiding small software updates and fixes puts you at increased risk for harm.

Take Advantage of Degaussers

Degaussers are machines that use electromagnetic fields to disrupt the current magnetic domain on various storage devices, such as hard drives, CDs, old cell phones, etc. Degaussers can effectively and permanently erase all data on old devices and storage platforms, making its contents unrecoverable.

If your hard drive contains classified materials such as personal information, credit cards, social security numbers, or any other sensitive information, look into degaussing.

Back-Up Your Data

One of the most underrated data protection practices is simply to back up your data. Digital data is inherently susceptible to being lost, stolen, or compromised. Storing important information in more than one place helps prevent data loss in the case of cyberattacks or hackers. Cloud backups such as iCloud, DropBox, iDrive, or Carbonite are easy and secure to use.

Overall, simply being more mindful of what data you upload to the online world and the permissions you allow webpages and apps can help safeguard your sensitive information.