Keeping your personal data and bank info ‘close to the vest’ is getting harder. Scammers are finding clever ways to reach out to you, crack your personal password system or find out more about you. There are many preventative measures out there. At Near, we’ve put together four top tips to keep your data safe and out of the hands of those you don’t want getting it.
1. Use Strong Passwords: Maintaining strong, unique passwords for your email accounts is crucial. Use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. If possible, don’t use actual words. Or even better, install a password manager, like 1Password. It might take a some effort to install, but you’ll be glad you did. See how 1Password works here.
2. Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Many companies are making this normal operating procedure. Adding an extra layer of security through 2FA significantly reduces the risk of unauthorized access to your accounts. Even if a scammer gains access to your password, they won't be able to log in without the second verification step - usually via a phone text. This extra step is what my dad calls ‘A royal pain in the ass’, but he sleeps well at night knowing he has it.
3. Regularly Update Software: This is an easy one to ignore. Ensure that your web browser and operating system is always up to date. Software updates often include security patches that address vulnerabilities that scammers could exploit. I’m sure you’ve noticed updates are becoming more frequent, stay on them.
4. Use Email Filtering Tools: Employ email filtering tools offered by Google and Microsoft to automatically detect and divert suspicious emails to a separate folder. While these tools aren't foolproof, they can help reduce the number of scam emails. For example, mark emails as ‘Report phishing’ or ‘Report Spam’. If you want to learn how to do it, click here.