Keeping Private Info Private on your Personal Devices

By Kat Kasel

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In the wake of the recent NSA breach, the constant push/pull between privacy and security is more top-of-mind than ever. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where the line should be drawn to ensure that personal information stays both safe and private.

Though some aspects of privacy are simply out of our control, for the most part, individuals and organizations do have considerable power to minimize cloud security issues.

Think about your personal devices: Your laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc. Do you practice safe searching? Have you weakened (purposely or accidentally) any of the default settings? Do your online habits make you a target for hackers or other bad guys?

Here are a few tips for minimizing risk and keeping your personal information as safe as possible.

If you own a smartphone, turn your Wi-Fi off. If you specifically opt to turn it on, then you can choose the network you’d like to access. If you let “on” be the default setting for Wi-Fi, then your phone can and will connect to random public networks from time to time. Though these are generally safe, public networks can increase the risk of someone with bad intentions gaining access to your phone.

Don’t store all your information in one place. Although it’s convenient to put personal and professional information on a single mobile device, it increases the impact of a potential security breach. If someone managed to gain access to the information on your personal phone, that would be an unfortunate violation of privacy, but if all your work emails and business data was also infiltrated, it could be catastrophic. This is especially pertinent for remote workers who access office documents via VPN. Try to keep your accounts separate to minimize the repercussions of a security breach.

Password protect all digital devices. In settings, password-lock your smartphone, computer, and tablet. It can feel annoying to constantly enter codes to access your own device, but it’s a significant deterrent for hackers and data thieves.

Be smart. When it comes to your protecting your private information – better safe than sorry.

About Kat Kasel
Kat is a freelance writer and media associate for a digital marketing company in Washington, DC. She loves reading and writing but 'rithmatic? Not so much.

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