Online security and privacy is easy, not complicated

This is Data Privacy Week. 

Between privacy and security, it feels like things change from week to week. But as much as some things change, the important ways to protect yourself remain the same. 

A recent study shows that when you talk about these things — data privacy and security — people get a little freaked out. They freeze. And rather than protect themselves, they do nothing.

Why? Because all the imagery around the topic involves dark images, silhouettes in hoodies. So it seems scary and complicated. The executive director of the National Cybersecurity Alliance says even the easy-to-do solutions to protect information come in off-putting names.

"We talk about these things in terms that are complex. Why did we name it multi-factor authentication? That makes people like my mom say, I don’t know what you’re talking about. Ya know, if we named it quick, easy, security thingy then we’d have a lot more people using it," Lisa Plaggemier told the FOX 5 I-Team with a laugh. 

With her encouragement, let’s lighten things up this Data Privacy Week. 

Here’s the good news: There are three things that you can do to protect and secure your identity and personal information.

3 Easy security measures

  • Multi-factor authentication or quick, easy security trick on all accounts. This could be facial recognition, a thumbprint or a code sent to you. If someone gets your password, if you have this extra layer, they can’t get into your account. It’s easy.
  • A very long password that is hard to break. It’s generally a phrase with caps, lowercase, symbols and numbers. You should use a different one for every account. Don’t get overwhelmed. It's easy.
  • A password manager can keep track of your accounts for you. It’s one password to remember to access the data vault that manages all of your accounts and passwords. It’s easy.

"They are so quick and easy to use it’s amazing. Once you install the on your browser, and you go to a website, you haven’t already saved in the password manager, it will automatically ask you if you want to add it," Lisa Plaggemier added. 

As keyboard crimes have morphed, these three security layers have remained the same because they work.