How to Secure Your Phone and Computer

For Home Care professionals, the security of your personal and work devices is critical. By following sound security practices, you can ensure your personal data, and that of your patients and clients are stored safely out of reach of any bad actors. Many people automatically assume that our Senior Community is most vulnerable to phishing attempts or hacks. You may be surprised to learn, that in a report conducted by Software Advice, Millennials are the most apathetic with their safety precautions, making them the most hackable.

The reality is, anyone can be hacked if we let our guard down and aren’t taking precautions to protect our personal info. You might not realize it, but a lot of sensitive info is sent and received through your computer or smartphone all the time. It could include your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, and all your passwords.

A malicious person could take advantage of security flaws in your computer or phone to access your online banking account or get access to your e-mail.

Internet shopping, banking, emails, and connecting on social media is incredibly convenient. As long as you take precautions to protect your account, there’s no reason to stop doing these things.

Think about protecting your devices, data and personal information:

  1. Antivirus protection. Antivirus software is available for your computer, smartphone, and tablet. For the greatest security, install these security programs on your devices that access the Internet. You can find some great free options from Avast for your iOS or Android devices here. Other options include Avira or McAfee.
  • Whenever possible, use dedicated apps. Think about all the personal data you share on your phone, such as your email or social media. Apps keep your data safe from prying eyes.
  • Keep your online accounts secure by using apps from your bank, favorite retailers, or social media websites instead of your mobile web browsers.
  • Create strong passwords and don’t share them with anyone. Follow these tips to keep your password secure:
  • When it comes to passwords, the longer the better. Try making a phrase to help you remember it instead of just using a single word. Think of an interesting or memorable sentence, and use the first letter of each. Mix it up between upper- and lowercase letters, and work in some numbers. Got kids? Combining the names of stuffed animals can make for fun and memorable passwords.

  • Make sure to change your passwords. Change your passwords every month, or if you think there might be a security breach, change it again.

  • Many people have the same passwords for everything or use close variations.It’s good to have very different passwords for your email, social media, and online banking.

  • Writing down your passwords can help you remember them. Keep your password list in a drawer or somewhere safe. You can also opt to use password security applications such as Keeper or LastPass. Both include free options for personal use.
  • Regularly update your computer and phone. Download the updates to your computer and phone operating system, antivirus software, and browser. Failing to do so could lead to security issues that hackers can exploit. Here’s a recent article posted by CNN advising Apple iPhone users to update their software RIGHT NOW.
  • Make sure your Internet connection is secure. You can harden your Wi-Fi security with these tips:

  • Make your router password-protected, change the SSID of your network, turn on network encryption, and consider reducing the range of your network to reduce the chances of hackers connecting to it.

  • There’s free software you can use to see who is using your Wi-Fi. Get it and keep checking it. If you see that someone has gotten into your network, change your password and the name immediately.

  • Don’t use a public Wi-Fi network to shop or log into accounts with sensitive information. Keep your online banking and shopping for home.

It’s important to recognize that letting someone else access your electronic devices could pose a safety risk, since all of your passwords are probably stored on these devices. Make sure you create a strong password for your computer and phone, and avoid selling your old devices. Even after wiping a hard drive, information can still be retrieved. If you do have to sell an old device, check out this article on how to completely erase a hard drive.

To stay safe, stay up to date on the latest trends in hackers. Some methods that are currently useful to keep you safe might lose their relevance in the future.

Technology makes everyday activities easier. If you love using technology, keep these tips in mind to make sure your financial and personal information is safe and secure.