There’s a lot of information out there about protecting your devices from malware, hackers and other threats, ensuring the safekeeping of your passwords, and protecting your sensitive personal information and your networks. Perhaps so much so that keeping up can be a little overwhelming.

Every time you open a new app or visit a website, you’re prompted with some form of security message, whether it’s to say that the app needs access to certain areas of your smartphone or that the website needs to save your browsing information. In order to ease the pressure a little, here are five tips that will help you keep your online information safe.

Secure Your Connection

It’s all fair and well taking the necessary measures to protect your information that’s already online, but good security starts at the source, which is the device you use to connect to the internet in the first place. Ensure that your router has a strong password that keeps it secure, hidden and encrypted.

You can use a firewall to block malicious programs, spyware and viruses from entering your system. A VPN is also a great idea as it masks your location and adds an extra layer of security. Antivirus software is usually not necessary these days and most apps tend to do nothing more than slow your system down.

Use Passphrases, not Passwords

Put simply, a passphrase is an easy way to remember a much longer password. Instead of using a random collection of numbers and letters, you can use a quote from your favorite movie, book, magazine, something you said in the past, or a song lyric. Be sure to add in a combination of numbers and characters where you can for additional security.

Use Different Passwords

If someone cracks your password for one website and you use the same password for others, you’re giving that person access to all of your other accounts at the same time. Use a different password for every website to prevent this.

Encrypt Your Physical Storage

Encrypting your flash drives, hard drives and other removable storage devices makes it much more difficult for criminals to interpret your personal data. While we usually don’t think about it, our smartphones and laptops can easily be stolen. Therefore, it’s important to take the necessary measures to encrypt any removable media devices.

This also ensures the privacy of your personal information if you ever take your removable media to be recovered. Of course, using a trustworthy, manufacturer-approved service is a better option for your privacy. Be sure to check out Secure Data Recovery if you need your smartphone, hard drive or any other device recovered properly.

Be Cautious with Personal Details

If a website or app is asking for personal details such as your address, credit card information, or Social Security number, it’s important to question why they’re asking for it and how they’ll use it. Consider what security measures they have in place to protect your details and withhold any information whenever possible.

Effective internet safety comes with being mindful about how you store and share your information. Your privacy is important, so taking measures to maintain it is well worth the effort.

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