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padlock and white computer keyboard on the wooden office table. privacy protection, encrypted connection concept

Increasingly cell-phones and computers have become essential to our personal and professional lives. As our devices store a lot of personal information, it’s essential to make sure that your computer, phone, and other connected devices are protected. The following are some simple steps to increase that protection.

1.Update your software

Software, such as operating systems and internet browsers are frequently updated — to patch vulnerabilities before attackers can exploit them. While some programs are pre-set to update automatically, many are not. Check your settings and turn on automatic updates to keep up with the latest protections against security threats. If your software is not set to update automatically, the software will have to be updated manually. The same rule applies for your phone - set it to update automatically. Otherwise, be on the alert for updates, and don’t delay in running them.

Also check for updates for any apps on your devices.

2.Protect your accounts

Besides securing your devices, protect your accounts. Create and utilize strong passwords and enable multi-factor authentication.

When it comes to passwords, longer is stronger:  at least 12 characters, including a combination of letters, numbers and special characters , ” %B” for example. You could use a passphrase of random words to help you remember it — but avoid common words or phrases, including the names of your pets . If your username and password are leaked in a breach, having multi-factor authentication enabled will make it harder for a scammer to get into your account.

3.Back up important data

As an extra precaution, backup your important data. Save your files to an external storage device, like a USB flash drive or an external hard drive, and keep that device in a safe place. Also, consider saving your information with an online cloud storage service although even online cloud providers are susceptible to security breaches.