In the previous two years, India witnessed a tremendous technological boom, unparallel to anything we have ever seen before. The number of smartphone users rose from less than 250 million to over 350 million in just two decades. The major catalyst for this huge technological stride was definitely the demonetisation and government’s push towards Digital India. Coupled with the Reliance Jio 4G revolution, that has brought down the cost of accessing high-speed internet, India has grown into the world’s second largest digital industry.

But what we do not realise is that there is a downside to all this, digital security has now turned into a serious talking point after waves of ransomware attacks this past year. Plus it is essential that each and every one of us, needs to be vigilant and take steps to protect our online lives. To provide you with the best advice on safeguarding your digital life, Symantec, the maker of the popular Norton Antivirus has been working on solutions to make things easier for consumers in India.

According to Symantec’s global VP Gavin Lowth said “because of the speed of digital transition that occurred in India, people now are only starting to realize the big benefits. However, what they aren’t realizing is that bigger trade-off they are making for this new discovered convenience.”

“With millions of Android devices, PCs with very little protection and a very vulnerable infrastructure, people have to take control and responsibility of their digital lives, since nobody else is going to do that,” said Gavin Lowth to PCMag India

He asks us to make direct comparisons with our digital and real lives, as and “advises to consider yourselves a digital citizen, and to think of the footprint which leaves across the internet.” If it comes to security, this digital footprint as harmful as a true physical footprint you leave on a street.

So here are just four major areas, that the cybersecurity veteran Lowth asks everyone to concentrate in order to de-risk our digital lives.

We carry at least one smartphone in our pocket, a laptop in our luggage, and in the event of some, a smartwatch on the wrist. Lowth asks us to think of our devices and the quantity of information it has on it. “Our devices these days are carrying enormous amount personal information, from phone numbers to credit cards details to photos of your family members. The biggest mistake anyone can make is not seeing such as a very valuable piece of information”, points Lowth.

The staggering growth of digital payment services and UPI based programs, has led to our important financial information like banking details being stored on our smartphones.

One way to minimize this risk is by being very mindful of the information that your devices carry. So that in a situation of theft or hack, your personal security and wellbeing won’t get compromised. Protecting your phone with a strong password or with biometric technologies like fingerprint or iris scanner is the first step. Additionally one should never install applications outside PlayStore or App Store, or open links and attachments sent from unknown sources.

Our devices, from smartphone to laptops, are constantly connected to the internet. This essentially means these devices are receiving and sending information, whether you browse the internet or flow a movie.

Lowth points out that we must ever discount the information coming and going from our devices. Monitoring the apps and services which are causing significant data drains is an important thing to do. Be observant about the permissions and access that we give to each program on our phones.

Additionally, stay away from connecting to unsecured or public Wi-Fi networks as the providers can pry to the data traffic out of your devices. However, if you need to use a public wifi, use it with a VPN service to remain safe.

Our identity
Our identity is precious. Regrettably, in the digital age, our identity boils right down to few social network reports, emails ids, passwords and data associated biometric information authorities accumulated- making it easily compromisable.

“We have to think about our identity as a digital citizen, given the amount of information about us that is stored online, in different areas around the internet, and the way to safeguard and monitor it,” states Lowth.

Using two-factor authentication is crucial to protecting our identity, and the degree of private and confidential information we discuss on social networks. Importantly, it’s time to take charge of privacy settings in the social networks and additional services we always use.

Our Home
When we state about protecting our home, it isn’t about having a stronger gate or door., however, the devices inside your home that holds valuable information.

We’re not only talking about smartphones and computers, but the whole array of linked electronic devices out of a security camera to smart TV. In actuality, Gavin Lowth points out that the massive denial of service attack that took down many prominent online services annually past was based on Chinese manufactured IP cameras. The last but most important piece of digital security is making Sure That You Don’t have any vulnerable devices, weather your home is smart home or not