In this digital age where information can be linked and duplicated, protecting your information can never be overemphasized. Imagine you had a physical store where you sold valuables, what would happen if you left it unattended to? Your guess is as good as ours.
What is Data Privacy?
Data privacy simply put, is how data should be handled, based on how important it is. It can be applied to critical pieces of information such as bank account data, credit card numbers, medical records, addresses and locations, passwords etc. The list of information to be kept secure can be exhaustive, as it is any and everything that a person or business considers confidential.
As an individual, here are a few ways to protect your personal information online:
1. Avoid using public Wi-fi for financial transactions:
Public Wi-Fi can be convenient but dangerous as the connection is public, and accessible to anyone. Unsecured internet connections are easy proofs for hackers to clone your card and get away with it.
2. Watch out for links and attachments:
ybercriminals are sneaky, and will often compose their phishing scams to look like legitimate communications from a bank, utility company, or other corporate entity. Certain things like spelling errors or a different email address than the typical sender can be a clue that the email is spam.
3. Use a safe browser:
It is very common to have unauthorized pop-ups when visiting a web page that will lead to insecure websites. Change your settings to block unauthorized third-party activity while surfing the web.
Best practices for business owners:
1. Implement a disaster recovery plan:
Waiting till you are hacked before having a disaster recovery plan in itself is a disaster. As a business, it is very important to have a backup plan for your most valuable asset – your data. You can read our article on why your company needs a disaster recovery plan
2. Set up a Two Factor Authentication (2FA):
One alternative to using passwords is the use of Two Factor Authentication. 2FA prevents just anyone from logging into an account by requiring a second form of verification, such as a unique code sent to an email address or phone number.
3. Encrypt all data:
Data encryption is the act of translating data into a type of code or “cipher”, which can only be accessed and deciphered by specific users who have the decryption key. Think of it like a safe where your important information is kept, and only those with the combination can access it.
4. Eliminate inactive data:
Cyber thieves can’t steal what they can not see. Therefore, it is important to regularly identify data and applications no longer in use and fully take out in a secure manner.
5. Educate users in security awareness:
Never assume that employees know what information is confidential and can’t be shared. Educate them on all the ways to ensure data security and empower them with security tools to act as reinforcements.
6. Introduce access controls:
Not all employees need access to certain applications, even within an application, employees will not have equal rights to access select information. Once employees exit your business, ensure to remove their access.
On a final note, it is important for your company to take data privacy seriously as this can either hinder or aid the growth of your business. For more information, contact us today.