Tips for Conducting a Personal Online Security Audit to Protect Yourself from Threats This Year
What can you do to protect your personal data in 2019?
- By John Heath
- Mar 05, 2019
Billions of consumers worldwide were impacted by security breaches in 2018, with hackers stealing everything from credit card numbers and passport numbers to social security numbers and home addresses. One of the most recent breaches, the Marriott hotel chain breach in November, exposed 500 million people’s information. In this attack, nearly 6.5 percent of the world’s population had their names, phone numbers, email addresses, passport numbers or credit card details exposed.
And if last year was any indicator, 2019 won’t be any safer. Unfortunately, many Americans are confused regarding data breaches. In fact, a recent survey by my firm Lexington Law found that a majority of Americans (56 percent) have never checked if they’ve been affected by a data breach. In addition, only 20 percent of respondents checked for a breach within the last month and 66 percent don’t know what to check if a breach occurs.
So with all this uncertainty, what can you do to protect your personal data in 2019? I recommend conducting a simple personal online security audit, which will help you avoid becoming a victim of cybercrime, including identity theft and identity fraud. Here are three ways you can kick it off:
Review Your Passwords
This may sound like a no-brainer, but many people use the same passwords for multiple accounts, which automatically puts them at a higher risk to be hacked. Review your passwords to see how many you use on a regular basis, what you use to keep track of passwords and how long it has been since you changed them. Also, avoid using identifying information such as your birthday, age, the current year or address for passwords. Once you’ve had the chance to dig deeper into your arsenal of passwords, I’d recommend changing them and using a reliable password manager to help keep track of logins for the hundreds of accounts that many people have.