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Online Privacy: Staying Safe in a Digital World

May 26, 2017

Security today means a lot of things. It used to mean things like ‘Don’t leave your keys in your car’, ‘Lock the door to your house/apartment when you leave’, ‘Walk with a friend to the bus stop’. While these practices are still valid, and still great staples for safety, the Internet is the window most people forget to latch. More than that, it’s a window with more potential for harm than most people realize. According to news sources, identity theft rates went up 16 percent from 2015, to victimize a record 15.4 million Americans in 2016. So how do you stay safe? Well - using a reputable internet provider is a good start. YK Communications is committed to not sharing your personal information, and treats data security with the necessary seriousness to help prevent the invasion of your online privacy and the security of your personal information.

So now that we’ve covered the “why” of guarding your online privacy, you’re wondering what the “how” is. Let’s get started with a few basic proactive steps you can take every day to help insure that you’re not inviting people in to take advantage of your personal information.

1. Be Careful How Much You Put on Social Media

While it’s tempting to fill out things like your birth date, email address, and phone number, these little pieces of information can open you up to fraud, and help unsavory individuals crack the proverbial lock, opening the flood gates to the rest of the information that composes your life.

2. Social Security Number: Keep it Secure

It’s no big secret that your social security number wields a lot of value as far as your identity goes, but you should think twice before sharing it - even the last 4 digits - with anyone except your bank, a credit bureau, a company that requires a background check on you or some other entity that has to report to the IRS. Individuals with knowledge of the way social security numbers function can more easily acquire the rest of the number if the know the last four digits as well as your birth place.

3. Key for Your Front Door - Key for Your Computer

Make sure your computer requires a password when you start it or wake it up from sleep. We know you trust the people who live in your house, but in the event your device is stolen, someone outside of your inner circle now have access to all the data that is saved on it.

4. Use 2-Factor Authentication

Sites like Facebook, Google, Dropbox, Apple ID, Microsoft, Twitter often have the option available for two-factor authentication. A two-factor authentication simply means that once you’ve entered your password, a special code is texted to your mobile device which you then enter. While it can prove to be time consuming - a couple extra seconds, to a minute or two based on your mobile coverage - this is a beautiful, very simple way to arm your accounts with better security, and insure online privacy.

5. Lie When You Set Up Password Security Questions

Questions like ‘In what city were you born?’, ‘Where did you go to high school?’ or “What is your mother’s maiden name?’ are supposedly used to keep your account safe from intruders. The reality is that these questions are so generic that someone who really wants to get into your account can quite easily do a little research, let’s say on the Internet, and find the answers to these questions. Worried you can’t remember your lies? Create “accounts” in your password manager just for this purpose.

We hope that these tips were useful to you, and that your quest for online security is successful. YK Communications does their part in keeping our customers informed, and treating your data with delicacy and respect so that your online privacy is more secure - the rest is up to you!

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