Be Wary of Phishing
Email phishing is a threat that affects both individual and corporate users. Most people have an inkling what phishing is, but perhaps may not be able to recognize a phishing email when it lands in the inbox.
Phishing emails often look like real messages from legitimate senders. However, the main objective of such emails is to lure important information from you. For instance, you may receive a message saying that your system has been hacked or that there is some problem with your bank account, and thus you need to enter your password into a given form or click an outgoing link.
Phishing emails often play with your emotions, trying to make use of the fake sense of urgency. However, before you enter personal information, you have to stop and think twice whether the situation is really that urgent.
Use Strong Passwords
As annoying as it might sound, strong passwords ARE important if you intend to secure your personal data online. Using the same password across multiple accounts is convenient for you, but is also convenient for identity thieves. The longer the password is and the more random symbols it has, the stronger it is. Try using a long phrase that is easy for you to remember.
Consider Using Multi-Factor Authentication
Ask any security expert out there, and they will tell you that if a certain service offers multi-factor authentication, you should most definitely enable it. With multi-factor authentication, your personal data would be protected under several layers of security, thus making it harder for anyone to steal it.
For example, one of the elements of multi-factor authentication can be a temporary text passcode that you receive to your phone. Thus, technically, no one but you would be able to access your accounts. So this is a rather effective method to secure personal data. Most of the services these days offer multi-factor authentication, and you should consider enabling it today.
Don't Over-share on Social Media
Securing personal data is not just about protecting your social media accounts with strong passwords; it's also about what you SHARE on your accounts. Although we often think more about our credit information and online banking information when we consider the steps we have to take to protect personal data, social media is actually just as risky.
Hackers do not necessarily have to steal everything in one try. It is very common to collect bits of personal data from different accounts and then piece them all together like one puzzle to steal your identity. So if you want to share something private, make sure you don't broadcast it to the entire world.
Also, it would be a good idea to go through your followers or friends once in a while, to see whether you really know those people.
Don't Forget to Update Your Software
This might come as a surprise, but your personal data security depends on the software you're using, too. We know that users turn off automatic update features on the apps and programs they use because they find it annoying, but those features are there for a reason. New updates aren't there to take up your disk space. They are there to fix bugs and vulnerabilities that might be exploited by cybercriminals. Therefore, to secure your personal data, you have to make sure that all of the software you use is up-to-date as well.