10 Easy Steps to Secure Your Data and Online Accounts: A Guide for the Average Person

This blog post provides a comprehensive guide for the average person to secure their data and online accounts through 10 simple and effective steps. Readers will learn practical tips and best practices to protect their personal information and prevent unauthorized access.

Justin Mrowicki

2/13/20232 min read

person holding iPhone
person holding iPhone

As technology advances, we store more and more of our personal data and sensitive information online. While it is convenient to have our data accessible from anywhere, it also leaves us vulnerable to cyber threats. This blog post will outline the top 10 things the average person can do to secure their data and online accounts. Use strong passwords: Use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters for your passwords. Avoid using personal information in your passwords, such as your name or birthdate.

1.) Use unique passwords for each account and avoid using the same password for multiple accounts.

2.) Enable two-factor authentication: Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your accounts. It requires you to enter a code that is sent to your phone or email in addition to your password. This way, even if someone has your password, they will not be able to access your account without the code.

3.) Keep your software up to date: Cybercriminals often exploit vulnerabilities in outdated software to gain access to your computer or steal your data. Make sure you keep your software up to date to prevent cyber-attacks.

4.) Use antivirus software: Antivirus software helps protect your computer from malware and viruses. Make sure you use reputable antivirus software and keep it up to date.

5.) Be cautious when opening emails: Cybercriminals often use phishing emails to trick people into clicking on malicious links or downloading malware. Be cautious when opening emails, especially those from unknown senders. Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments unless you are sure they are safe.

6.) Use a virtual private network (VPN): A VPN encrypts your internet connection, making it more difficult for cybercriminals to intercept your data. Use a VPN when using public Wi-Fi or when accessing sensitive information online.

7.) Limit the amount of personal information you share online: Be cautious when sharing personal information online. Cybercriminals can use your personal information to steal your identity or gain access to your accounts. Only share personal information when it is necessary and be careful about the information you share on social media.

8.) Back up your data: Regularly backing up your data ensures that you can recover your data in case of a cyber-attack or hardware failure. Use an external hard drive or cloud storage service to back up your data.

9.) Be wary of public Wi-Fi: Public Wi-Fi networks are often not secure, and cybercriminals can easily intercept your data on these networks. Avoid using public Wi-Fi for sensitive tasks such as online banking or accessing your email.

10.) Use robust security questions: When setting up security questions for your accounts, avoid using questions with easily guessable answers. Use unique questions and answers that only you would know.

In conclusion, securing your data and online accounts requires a proactive approach. By following these ten tips, you can protect yourself from cyber threats and ensure that your data remains secure. Remember always to be cautious when sharing personal information online, keep your software up to date, and use strong passwords and two-factor authentication. Stay vigilant and stay safe.


1.) Jøsang, A., Fabre, J. C., & Munoz, C. (2007). A survey of trust and reputation systems for online service provision. Decision Support Systems, 43(2), 618-644.

2.) United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team. (2021). Tips for Using Public Wi-Fi Networks. Retrieved from https://us-cert.cisa.gov/ncas/tips/ST05-001

3.) SANS Institute. (2023). Security Awareness Training | SANS Security Awareness

4.) Cyber Security Alliance. (2022). Stay safe online. Retrieved from https://staysafeonline.org/