Whether you are an individual or a business, your data is of utmost importance to you. On an individual basis, your data is your personal property like your photographs, videos, files whereas from a business perspective, your data is your intellectual property, like your trade secrets, your customer data, and your confidential files. No matter who or what you are, if you use the internet, then you possess data that is valuable to at least someone. Data theft happens for a variety of reasons like identity theft, ransom demands, cyber espionage, or cyber attack. Whatever the reason, the solution is the same: protect your data like you protect your money. According to CEH experts, data security can be enhanced in a significant way by following these simple steps:
- Back it up regularly
Backup your data regularly. Ensure that your backups are working properly. You can choose manual or automatic data backup settings on your devices. This simple process can help you recover your lost data in case of data theft or data loss.
- Choose strong passwords
Keep strong passwords that are unique to every account. Passwords form your front line of defence against cyber threats and data theft. Always choose complicated passwords that have a combination of lowercase and uppercase alphabets, numbers, and special characters. Additionally, make sure they are at least 8-12 characters in length. You can use a secure password manager like LastPass if you have trouble remembering all your passwords.
- Use two-factor authentication
Even if your password gets leaked or hijacked, two-factor authentication can still save your valuable data. Receiving OTPs on your mobile phone is one of the safest ways to log into your accounts.
- Hire ethical hackers
Professionals with ethical hacking training can help keep your entire digital ecosystem safe from black hat hackers. If you are a business or a high profile individual, you can use the services of ethical hackers, also known as white hat hackers, to help find flaws in your system and fix them before they can be exploited.
- Encrypt it
This does not need an explanation. If your data is sensitive and confidential, encryption is the best possible protection. Hackers can spy on conversations and steal your files easily via Man in the Middle attacks, but if the data is encrypted, it will be easily protected from manipulation and misuse.
- Do not upload your private data on the cloud
Keep your private material off the cloud. Cloud hacking is one of the most common methods of breaching. A cloud is, in layman’s terms, someone else’s computer. Hence, as a cyber security practice and a digital hygiene rule, keep your private and confidential data on your device itself, unless it is absolutely necessary to upload it to the cloud.
- Dispose of your data safely
If you are getting rid of your data, remember to do so in a secure way. Make it a habit to shred your documents before throwing them in the bin. Hackers usually do dumpster diving to look for confidential information in the bins.
- Choose privacy
Don’t flaunt your personal data too much on social media. Even if you do, make sure your profiles are kept private so that strangers who may have criminal intentions can’t use your personal information against you as a weapon to breach into your accounts. For example, if you share pictures of your pet dog regularly on social media and if any of your security questions have your dog’s name as the answer, then someone who has access to your social media can use that information to break into your accounts.