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The data you create and store on the devices and networks you use is the most valuable thing there is. Although applications and operating systems can be reinstalled, user-created data is one-of-a-kind. If it is misplaced or seen without permission, the consequences can be disastrous.

The network of a firm may hold documents containing trade secrets, personal information about employees or clients, or financial records. Your social security number, credit card information, and bank account information may be exposed through applications on your phone, computer, or other personal devices. Identity theft is a genuine danger in either instance, or it’s becoming all-too-common in our digital age. Protecting your privacy and security does not have to be a difficult or time-consuming effort. It is also necessary to protect sensitive personal data. Let’s take a look at some basic measures you may take to prevent your data from being stolen.

Password Security

One of the most effective ways to defend oneself from digital invasion is to use strong passwords and never use the same password on several sites or devices. Put a strong password and a fingerprint or Touch ID on your phone to secure it. Use a password manager like 1Password or LastPass to keep track of all of your password combinations across all of your devices and accounts, and to keep them safe, strong, and unique.

You don’t have to worry about making your passwords memorable when you use a password manager. So go with the flow, mix in some numbers and punctuation marks, and avoid being predictable.

Lock-Screen Notifications should be disabled.

Turning off lock-screen app notifications on your smartphone is a quick and easy approach to keep personal information off your lock screen. To keep text messages and social media notifications safe from prying eyes, turn off app notifications.

To turn off app notifications on iOS, go to Settings > Notifications and turn off the setting for a specific app. Alternatively, go to Settings > Notifications > Show Previews and select “When Unlocked” or “Never” to disable previews for all apps.

Set text previews on your lock-screen to only show the name of the person who is texting you, or turn them off completely. On iOS, navigate to Notifications > Messages > Alerts > Settings > Notifications > Alerts. Go to Settings > Messaging > Preview Messages on Android.

Apps must be locked.

Go a step farther and lock your apps once you’ve locked your phone. App lockers work in the same way as the lock-screen feature, adding an extra layer of security to your apps. The contents of your apps stay protected behind a passcode even if someone else uses your phone or if it is stolen.

App lockers can help employees manage which apps and files they have access to at work. They also encourage software license consistency throughout the organization and improve application inventory capabilities.

Keep your browsing private.

Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) if you use free WiFi hotspots in public places to protect your personal information from others who may be using the same unprotected public network. To protect your privacy, be sure the VPN service is trustworthy and one you can trust. The VPN will encrypt all data arriving to or leaving your computer or phone, as well as disguise your location, in addition to safeguarding your surfing information.