How safe is your data? Perhaps the best question to ask is; how secure is your data? Note that we are not talking about the privacy of your data, but its safety and security. Look at it this way, you feel secure and safe in your house when all the doors and windows are locked. Although securing and keeping your doors and windows safe has a bearing on your privacy, it does not mean someone cannot see you, especially if the windows and glass on your doors are transparent.
Data safety and security is like securing your doors and windows so no burglar can break in. Unfortunately, today, big data theft, or data breach, incidences have been all too common. Take the case of the largest data heist to date in which 1 billion Yahoo user accounts were compromised. This was at a time when Verizon was all set to buy the internet giant. Sensing blood, Verizon went for the kill and bought Yahoo’s internet business at $4.48 billion, less $350 million from an earlier negotiated price.
To secure your data, here are five tips you should find handy.
- Update your Security Regularly
Make sure your software is updated regularly to fend off cyber attacks. Old software may have vulnerabilities and bugs that hackers could take advantage of to invade your data files. In most cases, old software is vulnerable to the latest viruses and gimmicks from hackers. Make sure you have the latest software version and protect your computer using the latest antivirus software.
- If You Don’t Know the Sender, Don’t Open an Email
Hackers are always a step ahead. It takes very sophisticated security protocols to make sure all data entry points are protected from unwelcome visits. However, even with the most stringent measures in place, hackers have clever ways of enticing you to open your data door or window. If you don’t know the source of an email, don’t open it. Opening a suspicious email or clicking on an attachment may give a hacker the only room they need to infiltrate your data. Don’t open suspicious emails without verifying their authenticity.
- Be Careful When Using Public WiFi
The convenience of public WiFi or hotspot comes at great risk. It is possible for hackers to intercept your communication and access your critical data. Unknowingly, you could be sending data directly to a hacker. If you have to use public WiFi, read up on the best way to secure your access and prevent hackers from intercepting your data.
- Keep an Updated Backup of your Data
In case you lose your data through data or equipment theft, having an updated data backup is a lifesaver. With a duplicate copy of your data, you can always restore your data and continue with your business. It is however important to regularly back up your data by setting auto data backups. This allows your computer to back up your data in the background as you work. You may also use an external hard drive as extra data back up. This extra layer of security gives you a lot of flexibility in case of a data breach. You should, however, restrict access to these backups.
- Use a Strong Password
The easiest way to assist a burglar is to leave the main door, or even a window, open. Well, without a password, you are doing exactly that to your data. You are giving a hacker an open invitation to come in and help themselves. Just like you won’t use a padlock that is easy to pry open, don’t use a password that is easy to crack. An ideal password should be complicated enough to frustrate a potential hacker. Use a combination of numbers, letters and special characters that are difficult to decipher. Make sure the password is at least eight characters to make it difficult for any potential intruder to get in.
While even the most stringent data security and safety measures may not be sufficient deterrence to keep hackers at bay, these tips at least remove your data from a hacker’s “easy targets” list. At the very least, don’t make it easy for potential hackers to target your data. Make sure you update your security protocols regularly, don’t open suspicious emails and attachments, avoid using public WiFi or hotspots unless you have to, keep updated backups, and use stronger hacker-safe passwords.