How Can You Protect Your Data?
In the world of digital technology, almost everything is on the internet, including your personal data. If this falls into the wrong hands, it can lead to financial and personal losses. So, here is a list on how can you protect your data and avoid being a victim of cybercriminals.
How Can You Protect Your Data? — Securing Your Devices
Digital security starts with the devices that you use. You interact and directly input your personal data on these devices, so it is important to have them protected by doing the following:
- Encrypt your data, such as important files and emails. There are easy-to-use programs available today that can encrypt sensitive information within your devices.
- Back up your data in a separate location, such as a different drive or on the cloud.
- Always have an anti-malware and antivirus solution installed on your devices.
- When new updates become available for your operating system, install them ASAP to patch the latest known vulnerabilities. It would also be ideal to automate this process.
- Have a firewall set up for your devices.
- One of the best ways on how can you protect your data is the use of strong “passphrases” that are difficult to decipher and seem random but are actually easy for you to remember.
- Check and configure the privacy settings of apps and software that you have on your device to ensure that they are only provided the permissions needed and do not take data you don’t want it to take. This should be done upon initial setup.
- Make use of a locking mechanism for your mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
- Remember to disable automatic uploading to avoid any of your data being shared without your consent.
- Turn-off Bluetooth on any device when not in use. This can be used to access your device.
- And of course, for how can you protect your data, you should be careful and mindful of what apps and software you choose to install on your device.
How Can You Protect Your Data? — Protecting Your Identity
Your identity is one of the main targets of cybercriminals. Once they have this, they can commit crimes or theft using your identity, thus enriching them while framing you. So, for how can you protect your data, you should give special attention to providing proper security to your identity.
- Use strong passwords for your different online accounts. Also, it is ideal to have different or at least variations of your passwords on different accounts so that if one is compromised, the others won’t be. For example, if a hacker finds out what your Facebook password is, if you use the same for your Twitter and email, then they would also gain access to those other accounts.
- Speaking of passwords, do not use any of your other personally identifiable information, such as addresses, names, phone numbers, and social security numbers, for your password.
- Be cautious in sharing your personal information. The start of learning how can you protect your data is by simply being mindful.
- Shred any and all documents that you no longer need. Get rid of obsolete data on devices such as computers and smartphones so it can’t be used against you.
- Dispose of your electronics properly so data inside cannot be recovered.
How Can You Protect Your Data? — Protecting Your Financials
Another target of cybercriminals is your credit card information. They can use this for a variety of purposes, such as making purchases or stealing your identity.
- If possible, when using debit cards, ask the cashier to transact it as a credit card so you do not have to enter your pin.
- Use email alerts for when your card is used for transactions.
- To know how can you protect your data, regularly review your statements for unknown or malicious transactions.
- Do your online shopping only with familiar and known online retailers.
- Use a credit card with a low balance for online purchases.
How Can You Protect Your Data? — Protecting Your Online Data
How can you protect your data starts with you. Be wary, be sensitive, and be mindful of what you do online to keep your data safe.
- When connected to a public Wi-Fi network, avoid making any sensitive transactions, such as online banking, since there is a risk that your data is exposed during this time.
- Make use of the privacy settings of the websites you use.
- To know how can you protect your data, always remember to sign out of online services after you are done to avoid others from accessing your profile.
- When you receive an email from someone you do not know, do not open it nor any attachment it has.
- Most accounts now provide a two-factor authentication, which sends an SMS code to your mobile number when logging in from an unknown device. Turn this feature on.
- When doing sensitive transactions, make sure you are using secure websites. You can check this by looking at the website address. Secure websites begin with “HTTPS.”
- Be mindful of files that you download.
- Opt out of websites that ask to track your behavior for ad purposes.
- Create different email accounts for different purposes such as personal, social media, account sign ups, newsletters, etc. And of course, choose a reputable email service provider.
- In order to know how can you protect your data, your most sensitive data should be stored locally.
Julia Sowells946 Posts
Julia Sowells has been a technology and security professional. For a decade of experience in technology, she has worked on dozens of large-scale enterprise security projects, and even writing technical articles and has worked as a technical editor for Rural Press Magazine. She now lives and works in New York, where she maintains her own consulting firm with her role as security consultant while continuing to write for Hacker Combat in her limited spare time.