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7 Easy Steps to Take to Protect Your Data

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It is becoming almost impossible to imagine a world without the Internet, with more than half of the world’s population now connected online. That figure is fast rising, with 6 billion users expected to be on the web by the year 2022.

On the flip side, we are now sharing a lot of data online. In other words, you are likely leaving many trails that malicious people can misuse.

No wonder hackers can easily break into critical bank accounts personal computers with simple attack strategies like social engineering. The bottom line is that you need to work harder to protect your data. So, what are some of the easy steps you can take to protect your data offline and online? Well, let us delve in deeper and expound on some easy strategies explaining how to protect data.

(C) Photo by Carlos Muza on Unsplash

Protect passwords

Passwords are easily the first line data protection defence. They are the most common authentication layer; that’s why the essence of using strong passwords for all online accounts cannot be stated enough. For example, it is advisable to have passwords that are long but easy to remember. It is also smart to avoid reusing passwords in your different accounts. The big challenge is that you likely have many passwords you use to log into sites and systems.

Of course, you will struggle to rely on your memory to keep tabs on your passwords. To lessen the burden of writing all passwords down or relying on memory, you can use a password manager.

Apply software updates

Most top software will be updated, revised, and patched. Remember, any outdated software poses a security risk to your personal and business data. Think of it this way, the longer the software has been on the market in public use, the longer hackers have had to find flaws.

Those annoying software updates you ignore are usually intended to either better a feature or fix security vulnerabilities.

For starters, ensure your operating systems are running on the latest software versions. The same applies to other essential software you are using for work and personal use. This gives some level of confidence that your data is protected from unauthorized access.

Do transactions only on HTTPS sites

HTTPS is a secure version of the original HTTP, which transmits data in an encrypted format. HTTPS essentially transfers your data using top-level encryption algorithms.

To expound more on this web security concept, the ‘s’ in HTTPS shows that the site is secure. HTTPS sites provide an encrypted link using a chunk of code known as a Secure Socket Layer (SSL). When you interact with the site, you’re requesting an SSL certificate that creates a unique and secure connection to the site. The critical information is protected, and you are safer. If you are website owner, it is better to buy SSL Certificate from CheapSSLShop to secure your customer’s data.

The bottom line is that you should start avoiding HTTP sites as you surf the web and, more importantly, when you share personal information, like when you shop online using credit cards.

Disable lock screen notifications

With sensitive information being conveyed through mobile phones, it is advisable to consider disabling app notifications on your lock screen. It is an excellent way to ensure that private information is not seen by those who do not need to see it. Some online accounts have a two-factor authentication where codes are sent to your mobile phone as an extra security layer.

If the screen notifications are not disabled, these necessary codes could be accessible by anyone, including malicious people. Someone may log into your accounts without your permission!

Keep your browsing to yourself!

It might sound like a cliché by now, but public Wi-Fi networks are not the best place to access the web. Using any unsecured Wi-Fi networks means you are not assured that your online activities are private to just you. Hackers love taking advantage of public Wi-Fi to access sensitive information from the websites that you visit while using the network. They can intercept and breach into anything from account log-ins to bank account details.

You can use a Virtual Private Network (VPN), one popular solution if you are wondering how to protect data on the web. VPNs generally form an encrypted channel between you and a remote server. This ensures that your internet traffic moves through a medium that is secure from those unwanted prying eyes.

Encrypt your data

Encryption is another smart way of ensuring that communication between two people stays private from others, even the data carrier. It is an old cryptographic approach that still works in the modern world.

The idea is quite simple; you want to cipher information so that any third-party intercepting communication will find it challenging to decipher the plain text data.

It is even more essential in an enterprise setting, but you can also use the technique to secure critical personal information from unwanted access.

Back it up!

With an increasing number of hackers and malicious viruses, having your data routinely backed is more vital than ever. You might implement every defence mechanism, but you are never safe! The backed up data comes in handy in the recovery from the attack. Additionally, backing up data protects if you mistakenly delete important documents and files. So, always ensure that any critical data is backed up in the cloud or external hard drives. You will be protected from having to start over from nothing in the event of infiltration or human error.

Wrapping up

As you might have noticed, staying safe and secure from cybercriminals is more about sticking to best practices. Always check the website legit or not before doing any transaction and data sharing. Inculcate simple data protection tips, and do not forget to look out for any new forms of attacks.