There is a lot of talk lately about web security. From the debates surrounding government surveillance to the risks of hacking, there are plenty of things to keep track of. Companies certainly have an interest in protecting their intellectual property, but the general public can help protect themselves through some inexpensive strategies. Think about all the free wifi networks you connect to throughout your day or all the places you use card information. Those add up when life gets busy, especially if you do online shopping. VPN services and some proactive identity management can offer a good baseline for securing your money, privacy, and security.
Start with the basics. Keep up on your accounting and utilize bank services. Websites and apps offer easy ways to check the status of your account so you’ll be the first to know when an unusual charge comes through. Keep you password as secure as possible by using combinations of letters, numbers, symbols, and upper/lower cases. According to research for the FTC, people don’t need to change their passwords frequently as long as they choose less predictable sequences and have variation from site to site. Another way to protect your accounts is to use a wallet that protects against RFID theft. This will keep your card information secure from a person using radio signals to remotely transmit your data.
There is an increasing threat of digital attacks as more systems and professions rely on the internet. The ransomware infection in the city of Baltimore is just one example of how far hackers can go as even systems with protections fall victim to an intense cyber attack. So, what is a VPN and how can it help? A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a channel designed as a secure way for parties to communicate with each other. Think back to those public Wifi networks you connect to. Anyone with some minor technical knowledge can see your traffic online and potentially steal information. These protections are not an end all be all for internet activity though. Service providers and the VPN provider still have access to your traffic history. There are also many different companies to choose for a VPN which can mean variations in quality.
“The decision on which one to use is very important, however, like websites, they each have their own policies and practices with regard to how they handle your data. When choosing one, be sure to look at the practices and policies around each of the following three areas: Privacy, Security, and Geographical Blocking,” according to IT Chronicles.
Understanding the risk associated with the absence of these protections is vital. Make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep yourself safe, especially from virtual threats. The more you educate yourself on different digital issues, the better chance you have at defending your future.