These days, it may seem like everyone is out to get your data – from social media sites to hackers, fraudsters, and shadowy third parties that use your information to send you targeted ads and assorted junk mail. 

Fortunately, there are a number of simple steps you can take to keep your data protected – or, if it has already been obtained, to regain control over it. 

Read on to find out what they are. 

Use password managers 

Keeping your various accounts as secure as possible is crucial, particularly with so many hacking attacks taking place. These attacks don’t only affect major corporations like Yahoo and Facebook after all – they also affect ordinary people on a regular basis. 

But don’t worry – if you’re worried about constructing complex passwords (and then being able to remember them all afterwards) you can simply use a password manager to keep all of your passwords safe and secure. 

Many password managers have a range of special features; they can generate passwords for you and can even keep tabs on your accounts to make sure they haven’t been breached. 

Get your data back from brokers

Whenever you accept cookie policies or enroll in loyalty schemes, you provide marketers with sensitive information about yourself – be it your phone number, email address, physical address, date of birth, and so on. While this may seem harmless, the fact is that this information often ends up in the hands of “data brokers” who analyze and trade it for a profit. 

Fortunately, it is possible to fill out out-opt forms to regain control over your data. This is, however, a process that takes time and effort. Companies such as Incogni provide an automated data removal service, finding and contacting brokers that have acquired your information, and requesting that it be erased from their records. This kind of service can save you hundreds of hours, saving you time, and a great deal of stress. 

Install antivirus software

The best way to protect yourself from any form of threat is to invest in robust defensive measures – and this includes keeping your data protected. 

Installing antivirus software on all of your devices can help you safeguard your vital data, and can also ward off malware, ransomware, and various other digital nasties. Many forms of antivirus are available via a cost-effective subscription service, although some are free of charge. However, it may be worth forking out a few extra bucks to make sure all of your devices – including your smartphone and laptop – have the sturdiest form of defense. 

Try ad blockers

While you may believe that your web browsing is relatively unobtrusive – perhaps even something that only you really know about – the truth is that many of your online actions are being constantly monitored and analyzed.

This form of subtle surveillance is being carried out by a range of entities, including your favorite social media sites and online shopping platforms. They then use this data on your browsing tendencies for a range of purposes, including sending you targeted ads. 

If you would like to distance yourself from this unsettling Big Brother-style analysis, you can install ad blockers, which not only help to stop the ads, but also prevents the collection of your data. 

Simple but effective steps such as this can make a real difference when it comes to making sure your data is consistently and robustly protected.