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Your personal information is intrinsically valuable to you. Unfortunately, it’s valuable to cybercriminals, too.

As internet access increases and communities become more connected, there’s a growing need to educate web users about online privacy – and especially about the value of private data. Your personal information is intrinsically valuable to you as an individual, but it’s also commercially valuable to companies and – unfortunately – cybercriminals.

Web-enabled mobile phones, laptops, wearable gadgets, and other smart devices are capable of gathering and sharing substantial information about who you are and what you do… Your name. Your phone number. Email address. Home address. Location history. Search history. Purchase history.

If you don’t set boundaries regarding the treatment of your personal information, then there’s a risk it could be used in unwelcome ways. Take action today with these three simple steps to improve your data privacy…

1 | 2FA and MFA all day | Control your account access

Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) and multi-factor authentication (MFA) methods whenever possible – especially for critical digital accounts like your online banking profile. Usernames and passwords are no longer enough to safeguard your personal information. 

One-time PINs, biometric scans, facial recognition, and even voice identification can put extra layers of security between your precious data and the cyber villains who want it.

2 | Delete the obsolete | Uninstall apps you don’t use

Review the applications you have installed on your devices – and be ruthless. If you don’t use an app, then uninstall it and delete the associated folders. This will free up storage space, but more importantly, it will get rid of old, outdated, and unmaintained software that could be vulnerable to malware and other threats.

Conversely, when you download a new app, read the Ts & Cs from top to bottom and check the permissions and privacy settings so that you can make an informed choice about the use of your private data.

3 | Lock when you leave | Shield your screens from snoops

Lock your phone, tablet, and computer screens to protect your data from prying eyes. If you step away to grab a coffee, chat with a friend, or attend a meeting, then you need to prevent unauthorised access to your still-in-use devices. 

Lock screens are particularly important for smartphones, which are frequently misplaced, forgotten, lost, or stolen. A screen-specific password, PIN, or swipe pattern is one more barrier to help keep your data from being compromised.

Our security specialists protect and defend critical data 365 days a year. Take a look inside our Cyber Security Operations Center to see how they do it.

This article was originally published on BUI.

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