National Association of Professional Process Servers

Data Security Tips & Tricks

On the heels of celebrating Thanksgiving, a lesser known holiday is celebrated on November 30 - Computer Security Day. While not as glamorous as Thanksgiving or Christmas, it’s a necessary reminder to take a few minutes to ensure you are using best practices to keep your personal and business information safe while online.

Securing Your Social Media Accounts

  1. Protect your passwords. Your password should be easy for you to remember but hard for others to guess. Don’t use the same password on multiple sites and never use your email address, phone number or date of birth as a password. Longer passwords are generally more secure, and you should use a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.
  2. Never share your login information. Don’t share your login information with others and always log out of a shared computer once you are done using any site. Scammers may create fake websites that look like sites you are familiar with and ask you to login, always check a websites URL before entering your login information and when in doubt, just go to the website directly instead of clicking on suspicious links.
  3. Two Factor Authentication This security feature adds an extra layer of protection to your account in addition to your password. When this feature is turned on, you’ll be asked to enter a special login code or confirm your login any time you attempt to access your account from a device that isn’t recognized. If someone tries to login to your account and doesn’t have access to the login code or login confirmation, they won’t be able to get in even if they have your password. This feature is available on most social media accounts, financial institutions, email providers and more.


  1. Login Alerts.You can increase the security of your Facebook account by getting an alert when someone tries to login from a device that isn’t recognized. These alerts tell you which device was used and where it’s located. To turn on Login Alerts, go to “Security and Login Settings”, scroll down to “Get alerts about unrecognized logins” and click Edit. Adjust your preferences and click save. When you get an alert, you’ll have the option to choose “This was me” or “This wasn’t me” and then be prompted to secure your account. You can learn more here:
  2. Two Factor Authentication.You can learn more and find the steps to activate two factor authentication on Facebook here:
  3. Choose Trusted Contacts.You can choose family or friends to be trusted contacts in case you ever get locked out of your Facebook account. They’ll be able to provide a recovery code with a special URL to help you regain access to your account. You can learn more here:
  4. Hide your Friends List.By default, the friends section of your Facebook profile is public. That means, anyone who comes to your profile can see the family and friends you are connected with which makes you an easy target for scammers. To limit the people who can see your friends section, simply change the friends list setting to “only me.”. You can learn more here:
  5. Reported a Compromised AccountIf you ever think your Facebook account has been compromised, Facebook has a step by step process that will help you secure your account. You can find it here:

Facebook Business Page

  1. Review Page Roles and Permissions. Before giving anyone access to your Facebook Page, be sure to review and familiarize yourself with the different Page roles that exist and the permissions they have. If someone is helping run your Page, never allow that person to access your Page through your personal Facebook account. Instead, choose the Page role which best suits the activities they need to complete on your Page. You should also have a second Page admin in place – a person you trust, such as a family member – in case you ever lose access to your Page. You can learn more here:
  2. Utilize Facebook Business Manager.Facebook Business Manager is available for businesses of all sizes, and allows you to manage your Facebook assets and make sure the right people have the right level of access. The Facebook Business Manager also offers additional safeguarding tools to help you maintain control of your Page and assets. You can learn more here:


  1. Two Factor Authentication. You can learn more and find the steps to activate two factor authentication on Instagram here:
  2. Report a Compromised Account.If you think your Instagram account has been hacked or taken over, Instagram has prepared a resource to help you regain access and secure your account. You can find it here:


  1. Two Factor Authentication. You can learn more and find the steps to activate two factor authentication on Twitter here:
  2. Account Security. Twitter has prepared a comprehensive list of suggested methods to keeping your account secure, including best practices for passwords, suspicious login alerts, and advice on evaluating links and avoiding Phishing. You can learn more here:
  3. Getting Help for your Compromised Account. If you think your Twitter account has been compromised, Twitter has created a list of suggested actions to take to secure your account. You can learn more here:

Securing Your Phone and Computer

You might not realize it, but a lot of sensitive information is received and sent through your computer or Smartphone on a daily basis. This information might include your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, and your passwords.

An ill-intentioned person could take advantage of security flaws in your computer or phone to steal your identity, access your online banking account, or use your email account.

Using the Internet for online shopping, banking, emails, or connecting with others on social media is incredibly convenient. There’s no reason to stop doing these things because of safety concerns, as long as you use precautions to protect your accounts.

Focus on protecting your Internet devices and personal information:

  1. Use an effective antivirus. Antivirus software has been developed for your computer, Smartphone, and tablet. For your greatest safety, install these security programs on your devices that access the Internet and keep your software up to date.
  2. Use dedicated apps whenever possible. Think of all the personal information you share on your phone, including accessing your mailbox or using social media. Dedicated apps help keep your personal information away from prying eyes.
    • Use apps from your bank, favorite retailers, or social media websites for activities like online shopping, banking, or posting on social media instead of logging on to your accounts via a mobile browser that might not be safe.
  3. Create safe passwords and avoid sharing them with anyone. Follow these tips for password security:
    • For passwords, the longer the better. Try coming up with a phrase you will remember instead of using a single word. Think of a memorable sentence and use the first letter of each word. Vary between upper and lower case letters and add in some numbers.
    • Change your passwords regularly. Change all your passwords once a month or more frequently if you have any reason to believe there might be a security breach.
    • Many Internet users have the same passwords for everything or use close variations. It is best to use very different passwords for your email, social media, and online banking.
    • Writing down your passwords can be a good way to keep track of them. Protect your password list by keeping it in a locked drawer or another safe place.
  4. Update your computer and Smartphone regularly. This includes downloading the updates for your operating system, antivirus software, and browser. Failing to install these updates could lead to security flaws in your system that hackers can take advantage of.
  5. Ensure your Internet connection is secure. Make your Wi-Fi safer with these tips:
    • Create a password for your router, change the SSID of your network, enable network encryption, and consider reducing the range of your network so potential hackers in your area cannot easily connect to it.
    • There is free software you can use to see who is currently connected to your Wi-Fi network. Install this software and check it regularly. If you see that an intruder has gained access to your network, immediately change your passwords and the name of your network.
    • Avoid using a public Wi-Fi network to shop or log into personal accounts that have sensitive information. Wait until you get home for online banking or shopping.

It’s also important to be aware that allowing someone else to access your devices could be a safety issue, since most of your passwords are probably saved on these devices. Create a strong password for your computer and phone and avoid selling your used devices, even after wiping the hard drive, since information can still be retrieved by those who know how.

Stay up to date with the latest trends in how hackers steal information. Methods that are currently relevant to keep you safe might become obsolete in the near future.

Advances in technology continue to make everyday tasks easier. Feel free to embrace these innovations and take advantage of every benefit! While enjoying technology, keep these tips in mind to help you keep your financial accounts and identity safe and secure.

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