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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Gadgets-Updates

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Five ways to password-proof your data
Siladitya Ray, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, September 03, 2014
First Published: 18:09 IST(3/9/2014)
Last Updated: 11:31 IST(6/9/2014)
Is your password secure enough? Photo: AFP/Valerie Potapova/Shutterstock.com

If you are not worried sick yet, you are in for big trouble in the online world. The photo scandal Hollywood's currently grappling with is a problem much closer to all of us than many of us care to believe.

The fact is that for all the ways in which the digital world has changed our lives, it is also a dangerous place to be in. That is, unless you don't take preventive steps to protect yourself. 

Remember, there is no foolproof way to protect your digital data and the threat of hacking is very real. Without sounding alarming, we help you with a few steps that will give you the best chance in your fight against that hacker who's casting an evil eye on all your personal details.  

1. Strong Passwords
First up, this is by far the easiest, but also the most ignored. When was the last time you cared to think twice before giving a password to your system or data? Most passwords are fairly basic: they are either names of your family members, the city where you were born, or even your vehicle's registration number! What does it take to be a little creative? Generic passwords don’t take much effort to crack and hackers can cause serious damage if your password is compromised. The simplest way to create a strong and effective password is by using a site like strongpasswordgenerator.com.

2. Separate passwords for separate services
Never keep the same password for all your web services. Even if want to have an easy-to-remember password, make sure that your iCloud or email passwords are not the same as those password you use to access any random web service.  

3. Guard against phishing
The most effective way the hackers gain to access people’s accounts is through phishing sites. Never, under any circumstance, click on any link that seems remotely suspicious.

4. Two-step authentication
Most important web service providers such Google, Microsoft, Apple and Facebook offer a two-step authentication process. This requires any log-ins to your online accounts from new computers to enter an additional code that might be texted, for example, to your mobile. Ensure that you set up a two-step authentication process all services that offer them.

5.       Encrypt all your data
If you have any sensitive data to store on the cloud, ensure that you encrypt all of it before uploading. This will make the task of a hacker much harder.


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