Online Activities That Expose Your Confidential Information
Tips and Tricks to Minimize the Risk
Whether your online activity is related to your business, profession, social agenda or personal entertainment, simply being online brings your confidential information a step closer to being hacked or misused. Despite the various cybersecurity tools and measures that may be in place, any information that you send, exchange or post online is always at risk, thanks to the unrelenting efforts of fraudsters and cybercriminals. Not only do they find loopholes in the systems and technology, but they continuously improvise on the methods to illegally access confidential information for personal gains.
To protect your privacy and confidentiality during any online activity, it is important to understand the areas that make you vulnerable. Read on to know more about the weak spots, imminent risks and how you can minimize them.
Top Five Online Activities that Put Your Information at Risk
From phishing, smishing and malicious apps, to virus, spyware and other malware, there are numerous threats in the online world. Whether you use a laptop, desktop, tablet or smart phone, any device that connects to the internet poses the same types of risks.
Here are the top five activities that may be threatening the safety of your confidential information:
- Browsing Unsecure Sites, or Clicking Unknown Links: One of the most basic mistakes that even mature internet users tend to make is to overlook unsecured websites. The simplest way to confirm if a site is secure, is to check whether the URL you are browsing starts with ‘http’ or ‘https’. The latter is trustworthy, especially when you are filling out online forms, or sharing other personal or confidential details. Similarly, be wary of clicking or landing on unknown sites, especially the ones that come through unsolicited emails. Many of these URLs appear genuine, but are actually bogus sites designed to steal your information or infect your system with malware. Another good safety measure is to use your browser’s ‘safe mode’ while accessing sites, when you have to part with your personal information.
- Using Weak or Same Passwords: Whether it is an email, an instant message or other files and attachments, any information that you share online is unprotected, unless you specifically encrypt or password-protect it. While using passwords is an effective precaution, using the same ones across all sites or files is never a good idea. Reduce the risk by using strong and dissimilar passwords across various sites or platforms where you conduct your online activities.
- Posting Information on Social Networking Sites: On the one hand, social media platforms have become a major source of entertainment across generations. On the other hand, your posts, activities, or mere presence on social networking sites could be putting your personal information at risk. Refrain from sharing your personal interests, whereabouts, family history, photographs or other information that could be potentially hacked or misused by stalkers or social engineers.
- Lack of Attention to Privacy and Security Settings: When you use your mobile devices or computer to conduct any online activities, or download any new apps or software, you have the option to adjust your security and privacy settings. A lack of attention to these settings could mean:
- You are exposing personal or confidential information, although it is possible to protect it.
- You are providing unnecessary viewing or access rights to people, although you can block them.
Review your account settings periodically to ensure that you have:
- Enabled a two-step verification and updated backup emails or phone numbers for password retrievals.
- Limited the sharing and viewing of your personal information, docs, photos or posts to only those people who are in your authorized network.
- Blocked third party sites who can otherwise access your confidential information or post updates on your behalf.
- Set up your spam filters to block any phishing attacks, as well as security alerts for suspicious logins.
Lack of Device Protection Measures: Even if you follow all the safety measures for your online activities, your privacy and confidentiality are only as strong as your device’s security. In addition to loading genuine anti-virus software, make sure that your device settings safeguard your personal data and hard drives, especially in case of ransomware attacks, or unknown strains of malware.
When it comes to physical measures for protecting your privacy and confidentiality, there is no better way than shredding the documents and digital media drives that you no longer need. For all your paper and digital media shredding needs, rely on a professional, NAID AAA Certified company, such as TITAN Mobile Shredding.
Speak to one of our data destruction specialists at (866) 848-2699 or contact us online. We look forward to understanding your requirements and offering custom solutions, including a free quoteand a free 90-day risk free trial.