We use the internet for everything nowadays. Despite most people using the internet on an almost daily basis, many have absolutely no idea how to protect their data online. Failure to protect one’s data can result in it being stolen by cybercriminals, who can then sell it on the dark web to other criminals. Once your data has been published on the dark web, you will forever be a target. Because of this, you need to take steps to protect your data and prevent yourself from becoming a victim of fraud.
This post will tell you how you can protect your data online:
Cloud storage is a much more secure and superior form of storage than physical storage. If your devices use physical storage, then it is time to shift to cloud storage. Not only does cloud storage offer more secure data storage, but it also comes with an online backup service, which will prevent your data from ever being lost. Another great thing about cloud storage is that if you accidentally delete something, you can access it by visiting the storage provider’s website and checking your trash. Cloud services store deleted data for a period of around 60 days. Once 60 days have elapsed, the data is permanently deleted. When you delete data from a physical storage device, more often than not it is deleted immediately and cannot be recovered.
The internet’s very unsafe. The best way to mitigate the internet’s inherent risk is to use a VPN, which is an abbreviation for Virtual Private Network. A VPN will mask your device’s IP address, making it impossible for cybercriminals to track you down or hack you. Additionally, a VPN will prevent your ISP from being able to monitor your internet activity. VPNs are very affordable (and are widely available). If you are on a very tight budget, then you will likely be able to download and use a VPN for free, albeit on restricted servers. The use of VPNs is strongly recommended by most cyber security experts.
Be very careful what you do with your passwords and what passwords you select. Choosing an obvious password could result in your online accounts being hacked. When you are making passwords, make sure that you don’t store them on your device (i.e., in a document). When you store your password information on your device, you make it easily accessible to anybody that hacks or gains access to your device. Store your passwords offline, preferably written down on a piece of paper concealed in a book, inside a safe. If anyone were to gain access to your business accounts, they could steal customer information.
If you are a business owner, then you need to make sure that you limit access to your devices. You should only allow trusted, senior staff members to use devices that have important and sensitive information stored on them. A big mistake that many business owners make is allowing low-level staff access to devices that have very important information on them. Even if the information is stored in encrypted folders or files, you still shouldn’t give low-level staff access to the devices that it is stored on. Always limit access to your business’s devices.
In addition to only allowing access to trusted staff members, make sure that you only ever store your business’s sensitive information on secured devices. Any device that holds your business’s information should be a device used exclusively for that purpose. You mustn’t allow work devices to be used casually. If a person uses work devices casually, then they could accidentally introduce viruses to them, resulting in your business’s data being stolen or lost. The use of secured devices is absolutely essential if you want to prevent any of your company’s important data or information from falling into the hands of cybercriminals.
Lastly, on whatever device you store sensitive information, make sure that anti-viral software is activated. The most common way for hackers to get into people’s devices is through viruses, which people accidentally download by clicking strange links, opening emails from strangers, and downloading files without first scanning them. Anti-viral software can be very expensive, but the service that it provides is second to none. You may also want to hire a digital security manager to handle your business’s online security instead of anti-viral software, though this is a very expensive option.
The information that you store online should be protected, otherwise, it can be hacked. If your information is hacked into then it could be sold to fraud gangs. This could then result in you and your customers being defrauded, and could permanently damage your reputation.