KBVOTES

Thinking “I won’t bother with privacy updates – it’s impossible to achieve” is a huge mistake according to Hayley Kaplan, a privacy expert. Yes, there are challenges and yes, protecting your privacy does take time, but it’s a good idea not to bury your head in the sand. You can take important steps to make it significantly harder to invade your privacy [and] to harm you,” said Kaplan.

Online privacy is a critical topic and affects us all, at home, at work, in politics and in our everyday learning. Make it a topic of discussion with your kids, your spouse, with friends and colleagues.

Start with your phone. Delete any apps you no longer need or use. Then, do the same for old online accounts. You can use the directory at JustDelete.me to help you find the directions to close them out or the direct link to shut them down.

The most important thing you can do to keep your accounts secure from hackers is to enable Two Factor Authentication on all your accounts. 

One good resolution to make this year: use strong passwords, no exceptions. “People are being hacked all the time… so you want very safe passwords… long, random letters,” said Kaplan. The best way to accomplish this is by using a password manager. This is an app or software that can generate complicated passwords and remember them. Sixteen characters is the magic number and there’s no way you’ll remember those, so the password manager will also log in to websites and apps for you. There are good free options like LastPass or BitWarden.

Restrict third-party apps’ access via your biggest online accounts (like Google, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). Apps and websites can prompt users to allow access in not-so-obvious ways. Go to “settings” for each application.

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