We often forget how big of a target we are as data is becoming more and more valuable each year. The rise of tech companies has given way to the use of sophisticated and sometimes difficult to decipher algorithms and security protocols, so it’s easy for us to feel like we’re safe from theft or hacking. Many tech giants have already been breached – Target, Dropbox – yet there still seems to be some hesitation when it comes to our own privacy. With all of the recent tech breaches how can you keep what matters most – your information – safe?
Data breaches can be a serious problem for companies and individuals. They happen when attackers steal sensitive data, such as customer information or intellectual property, from an organization’s computers and networks. This can put your personal and professional life at risk. It is important to know how you can protect yourself in the event of a data breach.
The recent rise in data breaches has made it more important than ever to take steps to protect yourself from them. The best way to avoid being hacked or having your information stolen is by understanding what you can do to minimize the damage if a breach does occur.
In this article we’ll cover four ways you can protect yourself from data breaches, as well as how those tips work together for maximum protection against hackers and thieves.
1) Stay Up To Date (Don’t Download Fake or Unknown Apps)
As we all already know, in the virtual world , things are constantly evolving. New viruses, new security leaks, and new hacks are always emerging so it’s very important for you to stay up to date on which apps or programs you have installed on your computer because the creators of those apps will try to update them with patches whenever a bad bug is found. Even though you may not use a particular app everyday, it’s still important to keep it up to date because new updates can include security fixes that will ensure you’re protected against the latest cyber threats.
Be very cautious when downloading apps as there are countless hackers out there trying to make a quick buck by tricking users into believing they’re getting an app they may need (like Facebook, which we all know is one of those free but fake apps). Hackers spread their malware through these “fake” apps and if you download them, your device and information will be at risk. Make sure you only install legitimate and trusted apps onto your devices and don’t fall for the tricks of scammers!
2) Use Strong Passwords
How many times did you have to create a new password last year? Strong passwords will play an integral role in protecting yourself from hackers and data breaches. Hackers use automated software to scan for vulnerabilities on websites, which allows them to access your personal information just by knowing your email address. If you have a weak password, these automated programs can easily guess it and give hackers full access to your account – so creating strong passwords is the best way to protect yourself from this type of attack.
This means choosing complex phrases instead of simple words or numbers, as well as avoiding obvious patterns like aaabbbccc or 55555555. You should also change up your password every few months because if they know one of your passwords, they’ll try that same password on other websites and accounts.
Strong passwords help keep hackers out of your personal accounts by preventing them from guessing what it is. You should never use words that can easily be found in the dictionary because computers are able to crack even the most common password within seconds. Make it long too – 10 characters at least. That way even if someone does get your password they’ll have a hard time figuring out what it actually is with a long list of possible combinations. We know we are all lazy sometimes, but keeping your information safe is worth the effort!
3) Use Two-Factor Authentication
It all started with a simple 8 digit password and now we have two-factor authentication as one of the latest ways to keep your information safe. That’s because two-factor authentication or 2FA adds an extra layer of security on top of strong passwords by requiring you to have both something you know (password) and something you have which can be anything from a USB stick, phone, digital key fob, access card, fingerprint scanner etc.
Two Factor Authentication is a method of protecting your information and it’s extremely important because it can block hackers from gaining access to your account without having both your password and a separate temporary code that’s sent to you via text or phone call (depending on which kind of 2FA you’re using). Websites like Facebook, Twitter, Google, and others all use 2FA to keep their users’ accounts safe and no online service should be without it! It’s very simple and easy to set up, but it doesn’t work with just any device. You’ll need to download a special app that will generate the temporary codes and without that app, you won’t be able to log in. So if you’re serious about protecting your information, you should definitely look into two factor authentication asap!
4) Keep Your Devices Updated With Latest Software Updates
“New version of your system will be installed tonight!”. Software updates are what keep your devices running smoothly, so it’s important to always have the latest version because hackers take advantage of any vulnerabilities they can find in old versions. Once they do that, they can access all kinds of information including personal photos, website passwords and even credit card numbers if you use Windows or Mac devices. Make sure you’re always up to date on your software (and other programs) by installing these updates as soon as they’re available!
So if you want to protect yourself from data breaches, make sure you avoid sketchy apps, create strong passwords with 2FA, enable two-factor authentication for all your accounts and keep your device updated with the latest software. And remember, your information is precious and every precaution helps you get one step closer to keeping it safe!