Threats to your data have been steadily increasing, ranging from phishing schemes to ransomware assaults. This comes as no surprise given the rapid use of technology in virtually every aspect of life and business. Today, digital data appears to have no limitations. Every day, almost 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created in cyberspace.
On a personal level, you generate a massive quantity of data, from emails and personal messages to images and tweets. And this enormous increase in data is drawing a slew of unscrupulous players eager to profit from private and commercial information at any cost.
What is a data breach?
A data breach, according to Norton, is a security breach in which data can be accessed without consent. Privacy violations are not just the result of straightforward ‘hacking’, in which hackers exploit vulnerabilities or other targeted attempts to have access to your personal data. A person can also become a victim of a data breach when they carelessly expose their personal information.
What sort of information can be stolen in a data breach occurrence?
To be direct, almost every kind of data can be stolen. From credit cards to SSN, to even full names and financial information – all those are thought to be the jackpot for a quick payout. Additional personal data gathered from membership lists or social media, such as travel, automotive, or lifestyle choices, may appear meaningless at first. However, cybercriminals may utilize such innocuous personal details for social engineering, malware assaults, or impersonation.
How does a data breach occur?
A data leak might be as easy as an employee visiting a blacklisted website. Although it may not appear illegal, these unintentional situations unlock the door to data breaches, which may be financially devastating to a business. Other times, it might be cybercriminals sending harmful emails that naive victims open. These emails contain software that allows these fraudsters to access the mainframe system and take anything they want. Employees must ensure that the identities of those with whom they communicate via email have been confirmed, and Nuwber can help with that.
If it is confirmed that a person is misrepresenting themselves, their messages should be marked as spam so that subsequent messages from them would be flagged. It would be better if you had your device policies that forbid the use of personal devices to log onto the company’s data. More so, this is another excellent technique to help protect yourself against data breaches at work. This is helpful because your device is most likely unsecured, so using it to enter into the business’s computer opens the door for cybercriminals to steal your login credentials and use it to get access to the business’s mainframe and cause problems.
How to protect yourself from data breaches
A data breach can occur in a variety of ways. It is usually an unfortunate scenario that is not planned for, like forgetting your laptop in a cab. However, the majority of data breaches are the result of an intentional and targeted attack. And they can take many different forms. A ransomware attack, for instance, may steal your computer in return for a fee.
Phishing scams are pretty standard these days, accounting for approximately one-third of all data breaches. Hackers typically use phishing to imitate someone you know and so persuade you to provide sensitive information. The main conclusion is that cyber criminals might employ various techniques, both direct and indirect, to steal your data. So, the question remains: is data privacy even possible? While there is no way to eradicate data breaches, there are steps you can take to mitigate the rate at which you can fall victim to one.
Stop the use of Wi-Fi in public places
If you work at cafes frequently, you are most certainly jeopardizing your data security by using public Wi-Fi networks. These can provide fraudsters with easy access to your every action, whether your login into your emails or your bank accounts. As a result, it is always safer to use a hotspot than public Wi-Fi.
Alternatively, use a VPN
A VPN, or a virtual private network, can protect you from malicious actors by relaying your activities via several third-party servers. It can give you privacy and protect your data.
Adopt strict password protection practices
Password etiquette is critical for data protection. From files and devices to personal accounts, you must use strong passwords to secure all of your data sources. Never use the same password for several accounts, and, where feasible, you can use a powerful 2FA authentication software.
Imbibe the culture of backing up your files
In the case of data loss, theft, or hijacking, your backups will come in handy. As a result, you should always create backups and keep them in secure storage.
Adopt the use of strong Anti Virus Software
To avoid harmful assaults, it is essential to protect your devices with a reputable anti-virus defense. It can enable you to schedule automated scans, keep you from visiting insecure websites, examine your email attachments, and warn you of any imminent risks.
Try to update your software regularly
Updating software may be time-consuming and inconvenient, especially if you are pressed for time. However, cybercriminals are becoming smarter by the day and discovering new methods to exploit security flaws. As a result, using outdated software on your devices may expose you to new data vulnerabilities. Using current versions with bug fixes and security upgrades can assist you in overcoming these obstacles.
Scrutinize every email attachment and link
Email links and attachments are some of the most common methods for malware to infect your devices. According to a Verizon analysis, emails are used to spread 94 percent of viruses. As a result, before clicking on links or downloading files, you must confirm the source of your emails.
Data protection can prove to be a challenge for both individuals and enterprises in today’s super-connected world. Inadvertently, hackers are always looking out for innovative methods to breach even the most sophisticated security infrastructure. As a result, no one is invincible to data breaches, and avoiding them is a far cry if you don’t practice the safety security tips highlighted above. So the idea of keeping away from technology is not a sensible solution, seeing that it is impossible to live without it in today’s modern society. It is, therefore, safe to conclude that securing your data should be a top concern now more than ever.