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If you're like most people, you've got an array of digital devices synced via Bluetooth to even more devices. To be sure, there are many reasons why the age of the digital device has fundamentally shifted how we work and play, most of them good. Hey, I don't know about you, but the less time I can spend looking for that one important sticky note, the better.
But there's one big flaw to the digital lifestyle: Security. The more we enter our data into online apps and sites, the more we put our personal information and finances at risk, yet few of us take even the most basic steps to safeguard our security. Perhaps that's why over 39% of the world's computers are infected with either adware or malware, totaling $114 billion annually. Both personal and corporate hacks alike have been successfully prosecuted only .01% of the timeómeaning once your personal details have been swiped and your bank account emptied, you don't have a lot of recourse.
That's the depressing news. But it's not all doom and gloom. In fact, there are a number of steps you can take to protect yourself, and most of them don't even require that much effort. SimpliSafe, a home security system company, created this interactive digital security quiz, which assesses just how secure you actually are. Here, are four of the quiz's crucial questions, explored more in depth.
1. Is my password strong enough?It may seem obvious that having a strong password is essential for your online safety, but judging from the number of people whose password is "password" or "12345," it may not be. While passwords themselves are an imperfect security measure, there's no reason to roll out the red carpet for hackers with a weak one.
What to do?
2. Is my phone secure?The more you do on your cell phone, the more contacts and personal information inside, the more risk your phone carries should it be hacked or lost. This is all the more true if you use your phone for both work and personal reasons, as your phone likely will have access to sensitive company information. Think you're safe just because you use an iPhone? Having an Apple device doesn't protect you the way it used to; as the popularity of the brand continues to grow, so, too, do a hacker's motivation for targeting those devices.
What to do?
3. Do I bank online?Most banks actually do take a number of steps to safeguard your mobile banking security, so the biggest threat to your mobile banking security is again losing your phone. Besides the tips already listed previously (i.e. not saving your password, enabling remote wiping and not banking on public networks), there are several other steps you can take to protect yourself.
What to do?
4. AppsApps are convenient and can enrich your experiences, but as app stores grow, so too do opportunities for scammers. This is slightly more true in the Android app store, as developers are given fewer guidelines and less curation, though Apple also has its problems.
What to do?
TakeawayWith so much of our lives lived on our devices these days, it's important to protect yourself. While no solutions are perfect, there are many easy and basic steps you can take do to prevent easy breaches. Take small steps, and soon you'll have upped your security game.
Adria Saracino is a marketer and blogger. When not consulting on business strategy, you can find her writing about style on her personal fashion blog The Emerald Closet.
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