Search engines, financial institutions, and e-commerce stores keep leveraging big data. This has made it easier for them to provide appealing products and services for their teeming consumers.
It’s imperative to adopt security measures to protect sensitive information from cybercriminals. The internet is filled with different resources on data security. This information abundance can be really overwhelming for noobs.
There is no need to worry as we’ve compiled some of the surefire ways to protect your data online and offline.
Protect your wireless network
This crucial step must be taken both at home or office. Using strong passwords will make it difficult for anyone snooping around to seize control of your network. Another thing is to implement router encryption to hide your network name from public view.
Backing up data is the key to recovering important information in case the unexpected happens. Cloud services offer individuals the opportunity to remotely store and access data. This is a more reliable method of storing data.
Ensure that you opt for a secure cloud storage option and get rid of old files after deleting them from your devices.
Firewalls are not meant for browsers and servers alone. They can be optimized on mobile devices too. In-built network routers will offer protection from malicious programs which can penetrate into your system.
Visit secure websites
Visit only trusted e-commerce stores when shopping online. One of the features of such stores is that they usually exploit SSL encryption technology. More so, look out for a lock icon and ‘https’ in the address bar each time you visit a site.
Confirm whether they have fraud protection features and depend on reputable payment gateways. You can read reviews on third-party websites to get a glimpse of their services.
Minimize the risks of a data breach
Recognizing the warning signs of a data breach and monitoring your data can go a long way. Be careful of anyone claiming they can render assistance in the event of a data breach.
The truth is that they may be scammers who are interested in causing further damage. The next thing is to change your passwords once it seems your account has been tampered with.
Rely on strong passwords
As a rule of thumb, passwords should be around eight or more characters. Create a combination of upper case, lower case, numbers, and special characters. Hackers will likely give up on cracking your password after some attempts once you take this approach.
Avoid using words that people can easily discover via search engines or by glancing at your social media profiles. A password manager like LastPass is useful for generating and securing passwords.
There are times when you will need to share your login credentials with family members or co-workers. It’s best to share this information with only those you trust and change it when the task has been completed.
Be wary of spam emails
A good number of cybercriminals are still taking advantage of phishing emails to attack their victims. These emails often come with links to a fake website or attachments. Scammers will encourage unsuspecting individuals to click the link and enter financial or personal data.
Visit the official website of the company and contact their customer support department to be on the safer side.
Monitor your online reputation
Be mindful of the type of information you put out there. There are instances where people lost employment opportunities and business deals because of their online reputation.
Leaving some information private can mitigate the risks of a data breach. In addition, delete your account completely from any site that you’re no longer active on.
Enable two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication will provide an extra layer of security to your account if a hacker is able to guess your password. This feature is supported by almost all social media sites and internet banking platforms.
The process involves entering a PIN or the right answer to a secret question before accessing your account.
Erase old data
Hackers won’t mind going to extra length to steal sensitive information. They can even collect information from old hard drives. In this wise, erase your disk memory or shred it to destroy completely. Another approach is to overwrite every deleted file.
Make sure that you wipe your smartphone clean and restore it to factory setting before giving it out.
Even though developers and cybersecurity firms are trying their best to protect customers’ data, each user also has a part to play.