Privacy protection tips

Every month more than 5,000 people take to Twitter to complain about how their mobile device has been snooped on or their visual privacy invaded. Who can’t resist eavesdropping on a conversation or glancing over at what someone is reading or working on?

According to a recent survey, 43 percent of respondents admit to glancing at a stranger’s mobile device, and younger people (ages 18-24) are even more curious with 66 percent admitting to snooping on a stranger’s device.

Pablos Holman and 3M offer the following advice to protect personal information:

Don’t travel with corporate branded apparel. Companies love for their employees to be proud of where they work, but when traveling with corporate branded apparel a hacker simply needs to overhear your first name and combine it with your company to be able to unlock your identity on LinkedIn.

Use a privacy screen protector on mobile devices. When trying to get work done, accessing bank accounts or even shopping online while traveling or in any public place, a hacker can easily snoop and steal any sensitive information on display by simply taking a photo with a smartphone camera and using the information later.

Beware of RFID credit cards. Many new credit cards include radio frequency identification tags to allow for easy payment options so cardholders could simply hold their cards in front of a reader instead of swiping it in a machine. Hackers can use an RFID reader to steal your credit card number by simply brushing up against your purse or back pocket. To help protect yourself, use an RFID-blocking wallet or sleeve.

Use a password manager to help you remember complex passwords. Passwords, especially email passwords, are a hacker’s gateway to unlocking sensitive information. Once a hacker has your email password, they can click “I forgot my password” on any website and start logging in anywhere. People know it is important to have a strong, complex password, but many don’t because they don’t want to forget the password. Try using a password manager to keep track of all your passwords in one place.

Password protect your phone. Seventy percent of mobile phone users do not password protect their phone. If a phone gets into the wrong hands, a hacker could easily gain access to email accounts, passwords, date of birth and countless other personal information that could be used to create fake accounts.

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