There are many rules for protecting yourself online. One of the most important is having strong and unique passwords for each of your online accounts.
If you don’t know how to create strong passwords, we can help. Tap or click here for 5 new rules to create the best passwords.
But even those who follow the most sound privacy advice can make mistakes from time to time. There is one thing a lot of people do that puts them at risk. If you are doing this, stop immediately.
Take note: do not store sensitive data here
Most smartphones come with a handy note-taking app preinstalled. They’re great for keeping track of things you need to pick up at the grocery store and to-do lists, but you never want to store sensitive information on them. You might be shocked at how many people are doing just that.
A recent survey of 1,029 American adults by DuckDuckGo found that nearly half of them had recorded at least one sensitive piece of data in a note-taking app.
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Here are some of the things respondents admitted to storing:
- Credit / Debit Card Information
- Social security numbers
- Security codes or PIN
You might be wondering why it is so dangerous to store this kind of information in a notes app. Well, take into account that these types of apps are not encrypted by default.
This means that anything stored on your notes app is vulnerable to hackers. If they break into your phone, they can steal all of your saved notes. Worse, if the note-taking app has a sync feature that is also not encrypted by default, hackers could steal the data by spying on your network.
Most people don’t know that these apps aren’t encrypted by default, as the following table explains:
As you can see, less than 35% of respondents knew that notes apps do not encrypt notes by default.
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How to protect your sensitive data
Since many note-taking apps are not encrypted, your best bet is not to save sensitive information on them.
Imagine the damage a cybercriminal could cause by obtaining your social security number and banking information. Not good.
Just use note apps for things like simple reminders. For example, you have to pick up bread on your way home from work or you have lunch with an old friend at your favorite restaurant on Thursday. Never store your credit card numbers or passwords on them.
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