While it’s no secret that we’re living in the golden era of the smartphone, using this technology means that addressing personal information security is a must.
In Australia, the risks associated with a cyber attack are on the rise, and working from home, global instability and increased reliance on technology has proved to be the perfect storm for cybercrime. In fact, more than 60% of businesses expect a surge in reportable incidents in the next twelve months, with 2021 already shaping up to be one of the worst years on record.
While personal information is often used by many businesses and government entities for perfectly legitimate reasons such as communication, this is not always the case. This type of data can also be misused by criminals, or even inappropriately by unscrupulous digital marketing professionals.
For businesses and individuals alike, personal information security measures are a necessary evil to protect yourself in the digital landscape. While a growing number of brands have started to invest in access control for their systems, how can ordinary Australians protect their laptops, tablets and smartphones?
As a general rule, the most common types of cyber crime include identity fraud, the theft of finances or credit card details, theft and sale of corporate data, cyber extortion, and ransomware attacks.
While the last three are often more applicable to corporations, exposing personal information and financial details to would-be cyber criminals is something that many people do entirely by accident. In fact, it’s often as simple as opening a dodgy email, or making a purchase from an online store that doesn’t actually exist.
Even details such as your name, address and phone number can open the door to accessing your digital usernames and passwords, which can in turn provide access to your bank details or credit cards. Unfortunately, many people are none the wiser that they’ve fallen victim to a cyber crime until it’s too late, and money starts to go missing from their accounts.
Once upon a time, personal information security meant purchasing an anti virus software for their desktop computer. These days, we rely on more portable forms of technology such as our phones, which means that protecting yourself online has also changed – but what are your options?
Social Media Privacy – If you use social media, adjust your privacy settings to control the amount and type of information you share and make your profiles private so that only your friends can view your details. In addition, dig into the settings of your account to see what types of tracking you’ve enabled and where your personal information is distributed.
Strong Passwords – One of the most effective ways to protect personal information online is to be smart with your passwords. Aim for long tail phrases that include numbers and special characters, and avoid anything like addresses or nicknames that would be considered relatively easy to guess as a third party.
WiFi Connections – An unsecured network most often refers to a free Wi-Fi (wireless) network, like the types available at airports or large shopping centres. It means there’s no special login or screening process to get on the network, so don’t access personal bank accounts, or sensitive personal data on unsecured public networks to avoid any potential hacking events.
Two Factor Authentication – Two-factor authentication means you need to pass another layer of authentication in addition to a username and password to get into your accounts. If the data or personal information in an account is sensitive or valuable, and the account offers two-factor authentication, you should enable it. This usually includes generating a text or email.
Check Your Credit Report – It’s often difficult to detect if you’ve been a victim of identity theft until it’s too late. Along with keeping a close eye on your bank statements, take precautions to regularly check your credit report to see if there’s any potentially hazardous defaults or listings that you don’t recognize. It’s important to nip this in the bud to keep your credit score in tact.
Making your devices, online identity, and activities more secure really doesn’t take much effort. In fact, taking the time to tackle personal information security is very much considered to be the easy route when compared to fixing any potential damage inflicted by cybercriminals, so don’t wait until it’s too late to opt for a proactive approach.
How To Improve The Security Of Your Smartphone
One of the most effective ways to boost your personal information security is to ensure your smartphone software is up to date. However, if your device is sluggish or not running at its best, it might be time to consider a repair or an upgrade.
SOS Phone Repairs are specialists in high-quality, cost-effective phone repairs, tablet repairs, and PC repairs, all backed with a six month warranty. Founded in 2015 in Coffs Harbour and now with over sixteen outlets located all over Australia, our primary driving factors remain the same: people and phones.
If you are on the hunt for a quote, diagnostic, or even just some good old fashioned, friendly advice, please don’t hesitate to get in touch or give us a call today at SOS Phone Repairs.