4 smart tips and tricks for living in a digital world
(NC) Almost every aspect of our lives relies on one form of digital technology or another, from our phones and computers to the smart features on our furnaces, fridges and more. We’re so dependent on these technological tools that many of us would be lost without them. Here are four ways to protect the digital devices in your life.
Backup your files
You should know by now how important it is to have a backup of your digital life. Think, for example, about how many people’s phone numbers you actually have memorized – it’s probably not many. If you lose your phone and it isn’t backed up, you’ll lose all your contact information and will have to spend countless hours collecting it again.
More significantly, backing up your files means you won’t lose important financial or personal information if your computer suddenly stops working. As a bonus, you can access your digital files from the cloud on your phone.
Protect sensitive electronics
All of our devices contain sensitive electronics. If there’s a power surge, they can be damaged beyond repair. You might plug your phone, computer and television into a surge-protecting electrical outlet. But that leaves other things, including your appliances, at risk of damage from a surge after a power outage. To protect all the electronics in your house, consider installing a whole-home surge protector on your circuit panel.
Be cyber secure
As tempting as it is to reuse passwords across different platforms, this puts you at greater risk of falling victim to a cyber attack, with wide-reaching consequences even if only one of the sites you use is compromised. Each password you create should use complex phrases, have at least eight characters and include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.
When given the option, always sign up for multi-factor authentication, which requires that you confirm your identity by entering a temporary, unique passcode that’s sent to you (e.g., by email or text). This adds another layer of protection if someone steals your login details and attempts to access your accounts.
Watch out for scams
Scammers use all the tricks in the book to try to steal your money, including email, text or social media “phishing” messages. Review the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre’s website to stay on top of the latest scams and learn how to spot suspicious messages. Check for an email address that doesn’t match the company it claims to be coming from, blurry logos in the email signature or suspicious links or attachments. Always be wary of any messages that include urgent demands or threats and keep an eye out for spelling mistakes. When in doubt, contact the sender another way, like going to their website directly and contacting customer support by phone or chat to confirm the request is real.
Find more information on cyber security at bmo.com/security.
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