Have you recently purchased a new device? Smart phone, laptop, tablet or even a smart watch? Maybe you just downloaded the latest update to your computer or smart phone. Do you know what it did? Too many times we take for granted the base features technology and updates provide without checking that the privacy settings. Always check the settings represent what is best for you, not what is best for the company.
Location, Location, Location
Location services are very helpful. Let’s face it, who pulls out a paper map anymore when your navigation can tell you exactly how to get somewhere? However, your location does not need to be tracked at all times, so you should check the settings on all of your devices. Most apps have the option to only track while in use. When in doubt, it’s better to turn off location tracking until you find you need it. Phones are not the only devices that track location. Be sure to check settings on your laptop, tablets and smart watches.
“Checking in” on social media? Publicly announcing your location on a social media platform could potentially be dangerous. You are letting would be thieves and criminals know you are away from home, or informing an unwanted person how to find you.
Just Click “No”
Having your passwords saved is extremely convenient, especially if you follow the rule to have different passwords for every site. Google/Chrome wants to automatically save all of these passwords for you which seems very nice of them. The issue is this is not actually secure, especially if you use public WiFi. A hacker could easily write a script to steal the saved data on your computer.
Do you do a lot of online shopping? When your browser asks to save your credit card information, be sure to choose “never”. If a hacker can get your passwords, they can also steal your credit card information.
Do you deal with sensitive data for work, bank online or simply enjoy online shopping? Accessing private accounts with private data on public WiFi puts you at extreme risk. It only takes one person with the know-how and malicious intent on the same WiFi to remotely access the information on your computer. Save sensitive work for private networks.
If you are a business owner, be sure to have separate WiFi networks for guests, non-sensitive data and sensitive data. Limit access to the network for sensitive data to those who need access.
PRO TIP: Consider using one computer to “surf” the web and one computer to ONLY access sensitive data web sites such as banking, financial services, stock trading, healthcare and insurance.