How Much Digital Security Do You Need?

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on December 20, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

With hackers, malware, and identity theft (not to mention all the hot political takes on social media) the internet can be a scary place. And it can be scarier for some than for others.

WIRED released its Guide to Digital Security last week, a list of ways to improve your online security depending on your levels of risk. Using your smartphone to shop? You'll need good password protection and be careful about giving too much information to too many retailers. A public figure with a public social media presence? You might need some two-step verification systems. And for the rest of us that fall somewhere in between, here are five great tips for online security.

1. 2M Stolen Passwords: How to Protect Yours

At this point, you shouldn't have an internet-enabled device that isn't password protected to some degree. From the standard 4-digit or swipe code to biometrics in order to open your smartphone, and from starting up your desktop to logging on to your Wi-Fi, make sure your passwords are hard to guess, and you've stored them securely when you need to remember them.

2. Smartphone Search and Seizure Law: Update on iPhone Security

While fingerprint and face identification are an added layer of security from criminals, they may actually make your phone more accessible for cops. Learn why some courts treat number passcodes and biometric information differently. (And why your laptop may testify against you.)

3. 3 Ways to Protect Yourself on Public WiFi

It's great that we can get the internet anywhere. But that can mean that criminals on the internet can get to us anywhere. Beware public Wi-Fi, especially if it's not password protected.

4. Avoid Identity Theft During Holiday Shopping

Chances are, you're doing a lot of your holiday shopping online. That could mean sharing a lot of personal and financial information with a lot of retailers -- everything from credit card information to your home phone and address. Make sure the sites you're sharing that information on are secure.

5. What Is an Internet Purchase Exchange Location?

If you're picking up your online purchases IRL, there's cause for worry as well. After all, how well do you know the person you just bought that bike from on Craigslist? Some police departments are offering secure locations to exchange cash for online purchases.

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