Keep Your Personal Information Safe in the New Year

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As 2022 turns the corner, many of us are making resolutions for a fresh start in the New Year — maybe to exercise regularly, get our finances in order, or spend more quality time with friends and family. But your list isn’t complete until you add “update my security software” and “protect my personal information” to the mix. Scammers and hackers are always looking for new ways to steal your personal information online.

Here are some steps you can take to help protect yourself and your information:

  • Keep your security software, internet browser, and operating system up to date. Updating your software regularly helps make sure you have critical patches and protections against security threats. You can also install antivirus software to further protect your devices against viruses and other unwanted malware.
  • Create and use strong passwords. Making a password longer is one of the easiest ways to increase its strength. Consider using a passphrase of random words and numbers so that your password is more memorable, but avoid using common words or phrases, and don’t use the same password for different accounts. There are also many password generators online that will generate and remember strong passwords for you.
  • Use multi-factor authentication. Some accounts offer extra security by requiring two or more credentials to log in. You may have to give both a password and a passcode you get from an authentication app to log into your account. Multi-factor authentication makes it more difficult for hackers to login to your accounts even if they manage to steal your username and password.
  • Back up your data to protect it. Keep an extra copy of all your files with a secure cloud storage service, or save your files to an external storage device like Amber X. That way, if something happens — say a virus, your device crashes, or you’re hacked — you still have your files.
  • Protect your home network. Your devices, accounts, and whole network are only as secure as your router, since it’s the connecting point between your devices and the internet. You can make your router more secure by encrypting your network, changing your router’s preset passwords to stronger ones, and setting up a guest network for visitors to use. Having a separate guest network means fewer people will have access to your primary network, and will protect your primary network and devices if your guest unknowingly has malware on their phone or laptop.

By taking a few simple steps, you’ll be able to enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes with checking something off your list! And happy New Year from your friends at Latticework.

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