• >
  • Guides>
  • How to keep your data safe

How to keep your data safe

When it comes to protecting your data, you are the first line of defence. There's no foolproof way to protect your data but a few steps can go a long way. Here are 10 tips to help you keep your data safe.
Share this guide

1. Use a password manager

Many of us save our passwords to our devices but you're putting your data at risk. It makes it easier for criminals to get access to your information if your laptop is stolen. One way to store your passwords is to get a secure password manager, like LastPass or Dashlane. With this software, you only remember one master password.

2. Update your privacy settings

Most mobile apps let you choose how much and what kind of information is shared with providers. It's best to always choose the least amount possible. This is because sometimes companies will pass on your data to other businesses. Keeping your data more secure means less is available to companies you don't know.

3. Secure your phone

Phones are where your data is most at risk because they can easily be lost or stolen. Make sure you have a passcode or fingerprint ID set up. Avoid using significant dates or phone numbers. The idea is to make it harder for thieves to get access to data if they do get your phone.

4. Backup your data

It's often overlooked, but backing up your data helps keep it secure. Hackers can hold data hostage for a ransom - it's called ransomware. But there are now plenty of virtual services to hold your pictures or files, such as iCloud. You can also buy an external hard drive to put older files and photos on.

5. Use phone-locating apps

Losing your phone can be worrying - a lot of your personal information is on them. Phone-locating apps can help with this by showing your phone's location on a map. They can also let you erase all content. This way your data is safe from falling into the wrong hands.

6. Update your software

Updating your phone or laptop's operating system can take a long time. But they improve functionality and normally have security updates. It's best to update your devices as soon as these come out.

7. Be careful with free Wi-Fi

Unlike your Wi-Fi at home, many public connections are not encrypted. This means your online activity could be visible to other people on the network. Hackers also have the tools to snoop on what you're doing. If you're going to check your bank account or edit your personal details, try to do it at home.

8. Erase unused apps

Social media networks come and go. If you have signed up for any of these, they may still have all the personal information you gave them. When these services disappear from your phone, they take your information with them. Contact apps you don't use anymore to ask about having your data removed.

9. Only download trusted apps

Apps normally ask for permission to access your information. If you download one that seems to be asking too much, it's worth questioning it. Some will also sell your data to third-party companies, so they can contact you with offers.

10. Turn off your Bluetooth

Bluetooth can be a gateway for hackers. It's possible for them to connect to your phone through the open connection. The best way to stop attackers is to turn off your device's Bluetooth when you're not using it.

Spending with a credit card offers extra protection from scammers and fraudsters with Section 75 cover. Compare credit cards to find one that suits how you spend.

About Salman Haqqi

Salman is our personal finance editor with over 10 years’ experience as a journalist. He has previously written for Finder and regularly provides his expert view on financial and consumer spending issues for local and national press such as The Express, Travel Daily, and The Daily Star.

View Salman Haqqi's full biography here or visit the money.co.uk press centre for our latest news.

About Salman Haqqi

View Salman Haqqi's full biography here or visit the money.co.uk press centre for our latest news.