In today’s digital age, it’s important to be aware of the security and privacy of all of your devices and accounts. From your laptop to your Facebook account, you likely have a wealth of personal and financial information stored on these devices and accounts. That’s why it’s crucial to understand the security and privacy settings for each, and know how to adjust them to best protect your information. By taking a few minutes to review your security and privacy settings, you can help ensure that your information stays safe and secure.
Security settings are designed to protect your account from unauthorized access, while privacy settings determine who can see your content. For example, you might have a security setting that requires a unique password in order to log in to your account. A privacy setting, on the other hand, might allow you to choose who can see your posts or messages. In general, security settings are more important for protecting your account, while privacy settings are more important for controlling what others can see. However, both types of settings are important for managing your online presence in a way that meets your needs.
Security settings are the various options available to control who can access a computer, network or account, and what they can do once they’re granted access. The most basic security setting is a password, which helps to ensure that only authorized users can gain access. Other security measures may include firewalls, which block unauthorized traffic from accessing a network, and encryption, which makes it difficult for unauthorized users to read data. By carefully configuring security settings, individuals and organizations can help to protect themselves from attacks and safeguard sensitive information.
Five Tips to Help You Improve Your Security Settings
- Use strong passphrases or a password manager. To create a strong password that is easier to remember, use a passphrase—a 15+ character long password made up of random words that aren’t related. Avoid using easily guessed words like your name or birthdate. If you are using a password manager, take advantage of their built-in password generator to create secure passwords.
- Enable multi factor authentication. Multi factor authentication (aka MFA, two factor authentication or 2FA) adds an extra layer of security to your account by requiring you to enter a code from your phone or other device in addition to your password when logging in. To find out whether or not your apps or accounts support 2FA, search for the website on the 2FA Directory.
- Don’t share your passwords with anyone. Your passwords should be kept secret – only you should know them. Avoid writing it down or storing it in a file on your computer where it could be discovered by someone else. Consider using a password manager to help keep your passwords secure.
- Regularly review your security settings. Security settings are constantly changing and evolving, so it’s important to keep yours up to date to ensure that your account is as secure as possible.
- Monitor your account activity. Keep an eye on your account activity and look for anything unusual—such as a login attempt from a strange location. This could be a sign that someone has accessed your account without your permission. If you see anything suspicious, change your password immediately and contact the site or service where the activity took place.
Privacy settings are the controls that allow you to decide how much information you share with others, and who you share it with. Privacy settings are available on most social networking sites and apps, and can be customized to fit your needs. For example, you may want to set your privacy settings so that only your friends can see your profile, or you may want to turn off location sharing within a particular app. Privacy settings also allow you to control who can see specific items that you post, such as photos or status updates. By controlling your privacy settings, you can decide how much of your information is shared with others.
Five Tips to Improve Your Privacy Settings
- Make sure your privacy settings are turned on and that only people who you know and trust can see your posts.
- Be careful about what information you share online. For example, don’t post your address or phone number publicly. Many platforms allow you to control who can see your posts and profile information. Consider whether you really need to share a particular piece of information, and who will have access to it.
- Be aware of the privacy settings for each social media platform and app you use. Each one is different, so make sure you understand how your information is being shared. Read the fine print so that you understand how your data will be used and shared.
- Think carefully before you post online. Once something is online, it can be difficult to control who has access to it or delete it completely, so think carefully before you make a post, photo or video.
- If you’re ever unsure about a privacy setting, err on the side of caution and choose the more private option. This will help to ensure that your personal information is not shared without your consent. Of course, there may be times when you want to share certain information with a wider audience. In those cases, you can always adjust your privacy settings accordingly for that specific post.
Devices, Accounts and Apps to Consider
It’s important to take a close look at the security and privacy settings on all of your devices, accounts and apps to make sure that your information is protected from potential security risks and your personal information is secure. Review and update your security and privacy settings on a regular basis for the following devices, apps, accounts and services:
- Mobile devices (smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, laptops, and e-readers)
- Internet of Things (IoT) devices (speakers, security systems, thermostats, appliances, cars, and lightbulbs)
- Gaming consoles
- Smart TVs
- Social media accounts
- Email accounts
- Healthcare accounts and apps
- Banking and investment accounts and apps
- Streaming services
- Video conferencing services
- Payment apps
- Retail/Shopping accounts and apps
- Travel and transportation accounts and apps
When it comes to privacy and security settings, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The best way to protect your privacy online is to understand the risks and take steps to reduce your exposure. When creating online accounts, use a unique and strong password, and enable MFA whenever possible. You should also be aware of the privacy policies of the websites you visit and the apps you use. And finally, keep your software and devices up to date to protect your information from security vulnerabilities. By taking these steps, you can help ensure that your privacy and data is protected.