Avoid using social media messaging services
When you’re using a messaging service provided by a social media company, there is no such thing as privacy. That social media company can see everything you message. So, if you’re using Facebook Messenger, or WhatsApp, or Instagram, Facebook can see everything you message. If you’re using DMs on Twitter, Twitter can see everything you say.
Emails and regular texts, on the other hand, are protected by privacy laws, meaning that a private company can’t root around them at will. If you’ve got something to say to someone, you’re better off emailing or texting.
Generate & store your passwords securely
Good password security has two components:
- Generating unique passwords for every login you have
- Storing those passwords somewhere they won’t get stolen
The first part, generating unique passwords for every login, is critical. The websites you log in to sometimes get hacked, and those stolen passwords are sold on the black market and used to break into your other accounts. If you have the same password for every internet account, you are just one hack away from being completely vulnerable.
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The second part, storing those passwords, is equally as important. It doesn’t matter how unique and secure your passwords are if your list of passwords can be easily stolen. And unfortunately the ways most people store their passwords, such as making a list in their notes app or writing them down in a notebook, are notoriously insecure.
In order to store your passwords properly, you want to use a password vault. Most major browsers come with their own password vault, but we recommend LastPass or 1Password.
Store your data on the cloud
Data loss doesn’t just come from hackers; data loss can come from natural disasters. If your data is stored locally on your laptop or on an external drive, flooding or a fire can wipe out your personal data just as quickly as a hacker can. Data that’s stored on the cloud, on the other hand, is impervious to these natural disasters.
Most major hardware providers have their own cloud storage solution. Google offers Google Drive, Apple offers iCloud Drive, and Microsoft offers OneDrive. There are also third-party solutions available, such as Dropbox or the encrypted alternative Sync.com. The best part is that most of these solutions are free — meaning there’s no excuse for you not to use them.