Top Tips for Protecting your Digital Privacy

The rapid proliferation of digital technology over recent years has transformed our lives, but does come with some downsides.

Hacks, malware attacks, identity theft – just three of the breaches to our digital privacy as a result of increased use of technology. Here are our three quick tips for ensuring you are safer and more secure when using technology.

Encrypt your data
If your computer is password protected, then surely your data won’t be accessible in the event of theft? Well, not exactly. Taking your hard drive out of your computer or laptop and connecting it via a SATA cable to another machine will allow anyone to access the data stored within, as if it were an external hard drive. If you want to truly protect your data, you should encrypt it. Encryption works by taking data and scrambling it into an unreadable format that only the decryption key can reassemble and make readable. There are essentially two types of encryption – hardware and software based. Hardware based encryption is built into the drive itself, in the case of a self-encrypting drive (SED). Software based encryption used software, such as BitLocker or FileVault , to encrypt data. BitLocker comes bundled with Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise, as well as Windows 11 Pro and Enterprise; Mac users can use FileVault on any version of macOS released since 2003.

Ensure your passwords are secure
Strong passwords on your online accounts are a great defence against unwanted hacks. Your passwords should contain a mix of letters, numbers and symbols, and should not contain any real words or phrases. It also advisable to have different passwords for every account, so in the event of a password leak from one site, you don’t compromise your security on another. Using a password manager to generate and store passwords is a good idea, too - we’d recommend 1Password. This service allows you store your passwords on an encrypted server, protected by AES 256-bit encryption.

Install a robust antivirus
Viruses and malware are an ever-growing threat, and everybody is at risk. For this reason, it is recommended that you have a good quality, up-to-date antivirus program installed on your computer. This goes for Mac users as well as PC users. While it used to be the case that Macs were at minimal risk from malware, with their larger market share that is no longer the case, and Mac malware is definitely out there. Bitdefender is a good, solid choice for both Windows and Mac machines.

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