Spring cleaning is upon us, but have you considered spring cleaning the technology you use in your everyday life? Here are 6 tips to get your tech in tip-top shape!
1. Change passwords
If hacking tales aren't enough to scare you, think of this as good maintenance. Updating your passwords routinely is one of the best ways to keep them strong: even if someone hacks a site, if you're changing your passcode often enough, that information is long gone. Remember not to use common words or repeat your password on multiple sites.
2. Update operating systems
One sure fire way to get hacked? Not updating your operating system (OS) or firmware when an update becomes available. OS updates often include security add-ons that are necessary to running your mobile, desktop, and other devices securely. Most devices will have automatic updates, while other installments must be accepted by the user first.
3. Back up data
Whether you have a cloud-based storage option or a physical hard drive, backing up your device is key. Although you may never have an issue with missing data, a destroyed hard drive, a drowned smartphone, or a hacker obtaining your data, knowing you have your details backed up brings peace of mind and a sense of security.
4. Use two-factor authentication
Many online programs and apps, even most email accounts, have options that allow two-factor authentication. This kind of security adds a second layer of protection: usually, after you type in a passcode, you have another way to identify yourself, often times by an authentication code sent to your smartphone.
5. Lock your smartphone screen
Turn on your smartphone screen lock, plain and simple. There are many options to customize your lock screen: from default codes of four or six figures to facial recognition locks. Whatever you choose, choose something. Not using this feature means missing an easy and simple layer of protection for your device.
6. Check permissions
Although you set up apps and social media accounts when you opened and downloaded them, it's never a bad idea to go through and check them periodically. For example, make sure you're okay with an app having access to your photos or your location, or your social media account being visible, or not, on search engines.