Although the question of whether you would give up sex for a year in return for total cybersecurity seems like an odd question, it is one that was posed to 2,000 adults in a poll taken by the Harris pollsters. The response to the question might be startling to many people. According to the poll, 39% of Americans are so fearful of their cybersecurity that they would willingly give up sex for an entire year in return for a lifetime of cybersecurity.
Unfortunately, you can never totally control your own cybersecurity because often people become victims of identity theft and other cybercrimes due to the neglect and failure of companies and government agencies to properly secure our personal information. However, fortunately, the good news is that there are a number of relatively simple steps you can take to dramatically increase your personal cybersecurity and you don’t have to give up sex for a year in order to implement these steps.
Here are a few of the more important steps you can take. You can find even more things you can do to protect your cybersecurity in my book “Identity Theft Alert,” which you can order from Amazon by merely clicking on the icon on the right hand side of this page.
- Use strong unique passwords for each of your online accounts so that even if there is a data breach at one account, all of your accounts will not be in jeopardy. A strong password contains capital letters, small letters and symbols. A password base made up of a phrase such as “IDon’tLike Passwords!!!” is strong and can be personally adapted for each of your accounts by merely adding a few letters at the end to distinguish the particular account, such as adding “Ama” to the base password to become your Amazon password.
- Install security software on your computer, smartphone and all of your electronic devices.
- Use dual factor authentication whenever possible.
- Don’t click on links or download attachments without confirming that the links or attachments are legitimate. They may contain malware.
- Trust me, you can’t trust anyone. Don’t provide personal information to anyone who contacts you by email, phone or text message unless you have confirmed both the legitimacy of the communication and the need for the information.
- Limit, as much as possible, the places that have your personal information. Your doctor doesn’t need your Social Security number.
- Put a credit freeze on your reports at each of the three major credit reporting agencies.
- Only download apps from legitimate app stores and check the reviews and the privacy rules regarding the app before downloading them.
- Protect your smartphone with a password.
- Store important data on a portable hard drive to reduce the danger of ransomware.
- Avoid public WIFI for anything requiring personal information. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
- Monitor all of your accounts online regularly.