In an inter-connected world, it’s not just people whose lives are being disrupted by the rapid tech revolution. As our devices become increasingly ‘smart’ and connected, data exchange becomes more fluid.
Sharing your information with others is now easier, but also more dangerous. While on a personal level, privacy is already a large concern, big businesses also have to deal with the threat of a data breach on a day-to-day basis.
Hackers are also adapting to new technologies and safeguards of information put in place to protect devices and their owners from data theft.
Aside from constantly upgrading your system to protect it from any hackers, there are a few natural ways you can be sure to avoid different types of data theft.
Here are the ten best tips to prevent that from happening to you or your business:
As discussed, technological safeguards appear to be the more ‘common sense’ measures in ensuring proper data protection. And in fact, strengthening digital and tech in the workplace should be one of the first things to do when it comes to setting up.
While there are plenty of technological counter-measures businesses and individuals alike can take, these are the few of the most common ones:
1. Use Encrypted Data
Data encryption is one of the best ways to safeguard important information against hackers. Encryption is a means by which information is encoded, whether it’s in the cloud, on the Internet, or on a portable device. Only the person with the proper security code can decode it, which is why it comes in handy for highly sensitive information.
2. Protect Your Wireless Network
Wi-Fi is the leading means of Internet for people in this part of the 21st century, but it could also present serious security hazards. Connecting to wireless networks for the first time now often come with warnings informing users that connected devices may be able to access your own.
For personal users, a strong Wi-Fi password may be what it takes to protect your connection already, but for business, also consider using encryption as well for better security.
3. Use Stronger Passwords or Ensure Other Password Safety Measures
As stated above, better passwords will make it harder for outsiders to easily break into your network or any other device where you store your data. That said, avoid using obvious markers for your passwords such as a birthday or a house address.
Some password measures usually require a mix of letters, numbers, and characters. The more varied the mix, the stronger your password comes out.
Another recommended password protection method is the two-factor authentication. Aside from typing in the password, individuals will need a verification code to get into a data system. These codes are often sent to the original holder’s phone or email, so if anyone other than you tries to access your account, you would know.
4. Update Operating Software
Malware evolves as technology evolves, and the smarter our devices get, the smarter viruses and other hackers become as well. But it’s not always so grim.
At the same time that malware adapts, counter-software also update themselves. Installing a firewall and updating it every now and then would be a great way to get your PC clean of any lingering viruses.
The People Aspect
A less conventional view on data protection would be the ‘people aspect’ of it. This means employee training and treatment. It also means providing aspects to only select individuals in your group.
To flesh out this idea better, consider doing any one of the following:
4. Restrict Data Access to a Few
It’s not so much that you don’t trust your employees. It’s just that if and when a data breach happens, you will have a concrete number of individuals to hold accountable. This is easier both for tracking down possible data infiltrations, as well as containing sensitive information to a select group within the company.
5. Train Employees
However, limiting data access doesn’t mean that a data breach won’t happen to just about anyone in the company. That’s why it’s important to also train employees on what to do when a data breach occurs.
Even before that, informing them about preventive countermeasures such as encryption and using stronger passwords will help develop a proactive rather than reactive strategy.
6. Control Computer Access within the Office
Similar to restricting data access, it’s also important to monitor who has access to computers and files that may contain essential information. Keeping these in check will again help you monitor and hold accountable the people who have this access.
7. Factor in Human Error
At the end of the day, mistakes can sometimes be inevitable, especially if they’re done by people. In spite of all your planning, a simple human mistake may let everything slip through.
Envisioning all the possible worst case scenarios and making a list of even further counter-measures, however, may help alleviate the effect of these human errors.
8. Go Paperless
Sometimes data doesn’t even have to stored in any portable device or disseminate on the web to be vulnerable to data theft.
Something as simple as keeping information details on paper could lead to hackers accessing your accounts. Prevent this by disposing of any papers with sensitive information after using them.
9. Enforce Stricter Policies on Personal Devices
Suspicious persons who come in with their personal devices may be an unpredictable factor that will hinder you from monitoring information efficiently.
Some offices will sometimes require employees to register their personal devices, or simply strengthen their networks against any incoming access made.
10. Monitor Movement of Information
In a more general tone, this all leads to one essential tip against data theft: make sure you’re always on top of monitoring where the information goes. The problem with data in the digital age is that it is easily passed on. Once you lose track of it, it’s gone.
Make use of these counter-measures against data theft today, and safeguard your privacy!