Our personal data is everywhere, and we can no longer afford to be blasé about our data security – if we are not taking proactive measures to prevent the use of our personal information, we are opening ourselves up to all kinds of problems.
Data breaches are inevitable, and the bad guys keep coming up with new ways to steal your personal information. If you want to protect yourself in this dangerous digital world, you need to take a proactive approach, and that means building security into everything you do online. Here are some tips you can use to protect yourself and your data in this age of data breaches.
HTTPS and SSL
Hypertext transfer protocol secure (HTTPS) is the secure version of HTTP, which is the primary protocol used to send data between a web browser and a website. The extra “s” means your connection to that website is secure and encrypted; data you enter is safely shared with that website. This technology is called Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and this security is particularly important when users transmit sensitive data, such as by logging into a bank account, email service, or health insurance provider.
Any website, especially those that require login credentials, should use HTTPS. In modern web browsers, such as Chrome, websites that do not use HTTPS are marked differently than those that are. Look for a padlock in the URL bar to signify the web page is secure or look for warnings like the one below that alert you to the ones that are not.
Designate an Online Shopping Card
Shopping online is convenient, but it is important to stay safe. With so much credit card data being stolen, it has never been more important to be proactive about protecting yourself and your money. In addition to shopping only on sites that display the HTTPS/SSL padlock notification, you can also designate a single card for all your online shopping. Use that credit card whenever you shop online, then check your statements carefully for signs of fraud and unauthorized use.
Avoid Saving Your Credit Card Data at Shopping Sites
It may be convenient to save your payment information, but it is also risky. Avoid the temptation to save your credit card information and instead take the time to enter it each time you shop. This proactive measure will prevent your credit card information from being revealed in the next data breach, and may also reduce the impulse purchases that we are all guilty of.
Run Updates Regularly
One of the ways that hackers try to breach your computer’s firewall is through weak or outdated code. Most software providers release updates to their products but, when the program is running locally on your computer or server, it is up to the user or company IT department to run these updates.
Some updates are programmed to run in the background, such as those related to your computer’s operating software, while other programs are scheduled to check for updates on start up. In order for these updates to be installed or users to be notified that they are available, the computer needs to be restarted on a regular basis.
Indeed, restarting computers and other electronic devices, such as phones and tablets, is needed to ensure that programs run smoothly, so it is a good daily habit to get into.
Use Strong Security on All Your Devices
Your online security is only as strong as your weakest link, so make sure all your devices are well protected. From your tablet to your smartphone to your laptop, make sure you have strong antivirus and malware protection on every device you use.
Implementing strong security and keeping it updated is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself from the next data breach. Think of your online security as a chain, one that requires the robust participation of every link along the way.
Use a Trusted Password Manager Tool
A password manager is a tool that does the work of creating, remembering and filling in passwords – we use LastPass. Simply log into an online account for the first time and the password manager will store your username and password so every time you go back your credentials will be filled in automatically.
81% of breaches are caused by weak or reused passwords, so it is essential that each account you have has it’s own unique password. So how are you supposed to remember these strong, unique passwords? You can’t. But a password manager can.
In the next part of this discussion on Data Protection, we will look at Cloud Technology v Onsite Servers and outline what TigerFleet does to ensure your data is safe.