How to stay digitally healthy in 2023 – The Hindu BusinessLine***

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Change all passwords; store data elsewhere; teach kids how to be digitally safe

As you start the New Year, it is about time for you to refresh your digital hygiene regimen.

Cybersecurity experts at Kaspersky have asked gadget users to develop some good digital safety habits in 2023 to protect yourself from cyber frauds and attacks that can cause immense financial, operational and reputation losses.

Experts say the gadget users have to replace all passwords with new ones on all of digital accounts – emails, key apps, including users banking and e-wallet accounts.

“Now is the time to check and change passwords on all accounts. And remember the main rule – don’t use the same password for multiple accounts,” the cybersecurity solutions firm points out.

“If you are like many people and have several online accounts, then a reliable password manager is a good help. Modern password managers have features that greatly simplify life with passwords,” it says.

“A password manager will help you generate unique and complex passwords for each account – and you only need to remember one master password,” it says.

It wants the gadget users to subscribe to notifications about account data leaks.

Data leaks

Weak passwords are not the only issue that can cause harm to people. Data leaks are another threat to your personal and corporate accounts.

When data leaks happen, hackers post them in the darkweb, putting them on sale for other hackers.

“You can get ahead of scammers in 2023 if you use services that scan the latest leaks and look whether they contain your data,” it points out.

Advanced password managers include this feature as well and quickly notify users if any of the saved logins or passwords are found in the recent data leaks,” it observes.

Store data

With transfer of data over digital devices happening very heavily, chances of data getting hacked or leaked are very high.

Users should create a proper alternative data bank, which again, should be properly secured with a password.

“You can create a folder on your computer or upload them to a password-protected cloud – but both of these options are potentially insecure and can lead to the loss of personal data,” it cautions.

Storage services are many times safer compared to more traditional storage locations, because they are specially encrypted, and can be decrypted only with the help of one master password.

Keeping children safe

Since more and more children are getting access to digital devices, there is a need to protect their path to the digital world. “It is important to teach and share with them the rules of online safety from childhood,” it advises.

To make such talks more enjoyable and interesting, parents can use games and other entertaining formats.

Another tip for the New Year is to spend time with your kids to know about their online interests.

“For instance, parents can ask about a favourite series, or listen to music tracks together so you can both together learn some secure practices to stay safe online,” it suggests.

There are also a range of child safety software that can help parents learn more about kids’ hobbies and help kids develop healthy digital habits from an early age.

“Privacy and security are a process. Just like you cannot get fit or become a healthy-eating person overnight, securing your account and digital footprint also requires some dedication. Small steps will help,” Vladislav Tushkanov, Lead Data Scientist at Kaspersky, says.

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