According to the 2013 Microsoft Computing Safety Index (MCSI), recently released and based on more than 10,000 consumers who self-reported their online behavior, two thirds of people are not taking good care of their own digital security.
People tend to have built-in protection turned on, but they don’t seem to be taking any extra steps. This is worrisome if you think about how much personal information we routinely access online.
See below three frightening facts and some simple tips to stay safe online:
Fact 1: Only 1 out of 3 people secure their mobile device with a PIN or password
Tips: Securing your electronic devices creates an additional step that can be inconvenient, but protects you from malicious intentions. If you haven’t yet:
__ Set up a PIN or password to securely unlock your mobile devices and save you from trouble if you lose them.
__ Create unique PINs and passwords by combining different types of characters (capital and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols) and avoiding easy sequences (that others can figure out).
Fact 2: Only 1 out of 3 people use secured wireless networks.
Tips: Mobile is how we live today. Using remote access and public networks to stay connected is part of our life. This is ok if you take measures to stay protected.
If you haven’t secured your trusted networks (home or office):
__ Restrict any access to it, right away. Creating a password is the first step.
If you use public networks (coffee shops, airports, etc.):
__ Secure your electronic devices using second factor authentication. To learn more about our authentication solutions, visit www.verayo.com.
__ Take advantage of web browsing filters to protect you against phishing.
__ Do not access financial or sensitive sites from public networks to avoid exposing important personal information.
Fact 3: Only 1 out of 3 people educate themselves about the most current ways to protect against identity theft.
Tips: On a day-to-day basis, we expose our digital identity by accessing accounts, making transactions, uploading/downloading files, etc., without taking secure measures. Some are very simple and easy to implement:
__ Do not respond to any online request to verify your social security, account number or password unless you made the contact.
__ Be private on social networks.
__ Enter personal information and click with caution.
__ Check your statements and credit report periodically.
All of the tips mentioned above are helpful to protect your digital identity. Take a holistic approach and be proactive. You never know when or where it can happen to you. It’s always better to be prepared. Most technology companies are working hard to secure your information, but you are responsible for being proactive and taking measures to protect your own digital assets.