Online security seems to focus heavily on businesses, but how can I increase my own personal security online? I have received countless notifications from Credit Karma about my email address being included in data breaches, and my social media accounts have been hacked before.

I don’t want my bank account or Netflix hacked next.

What tips do the experts have on being able to increase a person’s own personal security online?

A long time ago, I had a friend that would crack people’s passwords on AOL. The passwords that he stated would come up most often, include: 12345, 123456, 123456789, qwerty and password. A lot of people would also use the word “Jesus” as their password.

And a list from 2019 shows that people still use these unsecure passwords.

Most people don’t think twice about their online security. If you want to improve personal cybersecurity, the first place to start is your password. The passwords above can easily be cracked, and one way to improve your passwords is to use a password manager. LastPass allows you to create random passwords for each site that are long and complex.

You shouldn’t be reusing your password across important platforms.

Passwords are most secure when they include upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters – use them all. The longer the password’s length, the better. You just need to find a way to actually remember all of the passwords that you’re using.

After you have all of your passwords in order, it’s time to consider multi-factor authentication. What this means is that your password is only half of the requirement to log into your accounts. The way this works is that a text message or email may be sent to your account that contains a code that needs to be entered before access to your account is gained.

When you log into your accounts, check to see if they have a multi-factor authentication options available.

You may be able to use this option to increase your account’s security. The hacker may gain your password, but unless they have access to your phone, in most cases, they will be unable to access your account. You may also want to use your thumb print as a way to access your phone.

But you’re not done yet. You should update all of your hardware, software and apps. If anyone of these components has a security flaw, a hacker can exploit the flaw to their advantage. You can use a VPN to further mask your IP address and add another layer of encryption to your online activities.

Falling for basic attempts to steal a password should not occur. This may mean clicking on URLs you don’t know or falling for phishing scams.

Another simple tip to help avoid your data being stolen is to only log into your bank accounts and secure accounts using a private, secure WiFi network. When using a public network, it’s possible for someone to intercept your data and steal your log in credentials for websites.

These tips alone are just the start of personal cyber security, but they will provide an immediate impact on your personal safety and security online.

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