3 Reasons Why Online Security Is Your Responsibility

You may think that you can’t do too much to protect your information online. After all, that’s what an IT department is for, right? Well, you can do, and should do, more for online security.

Find out how can all take steps to protect our personal information and exercise caution when using social media, passwords, and the cloud for file storage.

What Is Our Responsibility?

Creating and maintaining strong and diverse passwords are areas of our responsibility. Do not use the same password for everything even if you think doing so is more convenient. Include symbols and random combinations of letters. Take note of whether your device automatically fills in your password and consider using password managers such as LastPass, Dashlane, or RoboForm, which will remember and generate passwords for you.

You Access Personal Information on Social Media

Social media platforms can seem private, but information is much more easily accessed than you may think. Be careful about what you post and set strict security settings. You may think that clicking “friends of friends” on privacy settings strictly limits the number of people who can see your posts, but that number could easily be 6,000 people, according to an article detailing online privacy and security by Forbes contributor Larry Magid.

You Can’t Discount Human Error

Even if you have a great security service, simple mistakes such as clicking shortened links in email from an unknown sender, speaking about your information on the phone in a public place, and forgetting to log out of accounts on public access computers can put you at risk. Sometimes, you may be tempted to buy something or conduct a transaction when you are on an unsecured Wi-Fi network, but the risk isn’t worth the effort. No one but you can protect your personal information.

You Need to Police Yourself When You Use the Cloud

Using the cloud is convenient, but its use carries risks. Those risks include downloading software and falling victim to phishing, usually in the form of opening emails and clicked links designed to harvest your personal information. Being wary and educating yourself is the best means of avoiding problems.

According to Gartner Inc., a leading IT research and advisory firm, “Through 2020, 95 percent of cloud security failures will be the customer’s fault.” In light of this percentage, more companies are moving toward a shared responsibility security model, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS).

One extra measure of precaution that you can take is to set up a two-step verification process. When you sign into a Google account, for example, a code gets sent to your mobile device to verify that you are logging into your account and not someone who has obtained your password. For your convenience, you can choose to forgo this second step on your personal computer. You will only be asked to verify your identity when logging into accounts from other devices you use.

Why You Should Care About Online Security

Even if you have the best IT security service protecting your information, its safety begins and ends with you — just as a sophisticated home security system is useless if you don’t lock your doors and turn it on. Practicing care when using social media, protecting your passwords, and avoiding unsecure Wi-Fi networks can go a long way toward protecting your information. IT security works best when users take an active role and interest in their online safety.

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