Safety in the Digital Age

securityYour digital footprint is more pervasive than ever these days. It seems like more and more personal information is being processed, transmitted, and stored digitally in some way, shape, form, or fashion. New technologies allow you to share knowledge and ideas across expansive distances like never before, but it also creates a new challenge to security and privacy.

There are more reasons than ever to take steps and precautions to protect your personal information. Technology can be used as a way to keep you more secure as well as something you need to take measures to protect yourself against.

Encryption

This is just a fancy way of saying you need to scramble your data so your digital information cannot be understood without a key. It can protect information on your computer and smartphone as well as information passed along via text messaging and email.

End-to-end encryption is designed to make communication between devices unreadable to anyone but the sender and the receiver. The best way to achieve this level of security is through apps.  Signal is one of the most widely used text security apps. Others popular downloads include WhatsApp, Wire, CryptoCat, and iMessage.

Your phone is not the only electronic device that needs protection. Your computer is most likely a gold mine of personal information. Passwords only go so far to protect your data. Both Windows and Apple offer automatic encryption that simply needs to be turned on. On Macs, FileVault can be activated through your System Preferences. Windows systems may depend on the operating system and the device version. Directions on how to enable automatic encryption can easily be found online.

For an extra level of security, you can encrypt your web browsing. You can do this by using browser extensions and by purchasing a VPN. Browser extensions ensure that you are using an encrypted connection when connecting to sites. VPNs run your web requests through a secure server before sending them on to your internet provider. These can really help protect your information when working at public places like cafes or hotels.

Passwords

Passwords are your first line of defense. It is not new news that you need strong and unique passwords on all of your accounts. Using difficult passwords that are unique for each site is a simple defense against digital invasion. There is some discussion on how often you should change them. Many experts suggest you have really strong passwords with no more than one per site. Because frequent password changes lead you to make them too simple and tempts you to reuse them too often, it might be more beneficial to create more complex passwords for each login and use a password manager to keep up with them.

Password managers make the process of creating these complicated words and phrases much easier. You only need one password for access to your manager, and it keeps track of all the rest.  They come in both online and offline versions.

Beyond Digital

Security at the digital level is vital and often overlooked, but that doesn’t mean you want to swing in the opposite direction. Technology can actually be used for your digital and non-digital items alike.

One of the best uses of these technologies is to keep track of your things. You can purchase Bluetooth trackers that help you keep up with just about anything: wallet, pet, luggage, backpack, keys, or bike. These trackers are usually attached to an item and monitored by an app on your phone. If you misplace your item equipped with a tracking device, you can use your phone to set off an alarm or show the item’s location on a map.

When purchasing a Bluetooth tracker, there are a few features you should be aware of. You want to pay attention to the battery life and whether the battery is built in and rechargeable or replaceable. You may also want to research the Bluetooth range, overall lifespan, and alert volume along with other pertinent features that are important to you.

Security in this digital age can seem a bit daunting. It is important to take extra steps to make sure your personal information stays safe. You can also use the vast array of technology options to protect the many important items necessary to your everyday life that may become lost or stolen.