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Protect yourself in the digital era

Have you stopped to ask yourself, what would I do if my phone got lost or stolen today? Do I have a plan? Do I have a way to recover my information? Or, would I be able to track down its location? Those are some important questions to ask yourself.

I bring them up because I would like to create awareness about the importance of protecting your own personal data.
We live in an era in which everyone is constantly sharing information with everyone through different forms of media, and it is thanks to these pocket-sized computers we carry with us in our daily lives that we are able to do a variety of tasks like never before.

Some people would even say that their phones carry their whole lives with them because it is there where our most personal information is stored. Information in the form of photos, contacts, emails, banking information, etc.

If these devices hold such importance to us, we have the responsibility to protect our personal data as much as possible. Just like some of us care about the physical well-being of our phones by protecting them with phone cases, we should also take its data into consideration.

For this, I would suggest always having a strong passcode set up in your phones. If your phone offers biometric security, such as a fingerprint scanner, use it and stay away from the temptation of using simple unlocking patterns for the lock screen security.

Because these devices hold all of this important information, phone and software manufacturers have provided tools that enable us to track down the location of our devices and wipe its data in case they are lost or stolen.

Apple offers “Find My iPhone” as part of their iCloud online services, Android on the other hand, provides its users with “Android Device Manager,” an app that offers a similar function. Despite having these security measures, I know many people who are unaware of their existence and others who prefer not to use them because of confusion or lack of understanding. The problem of losing our phone grows from simply losing it to being completely exposed to fraud and phishing if we don’t have the correct security measures set up.

Another security measure we can take into consideration is using different and strong passwords for the services we use. I know it can be difficult to keep track of all of the different passwords that we use, but there are tools available that can help us store all of them securely. I personally use “1Password,” a password manager app that has helped me keep track and generate passwords for all of the websites and services that I use. There are many others that offer similar functionalities and some are even free. This could help those who are constantly forgetting their passwords.

I hope you can appreciate the informative value in this column, as I wrote thinking of those (which I know many of my peers are) who may be unaware of the dangers of not protecting your personal data in this day and age.

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