This guide discusses why data is important and how to protect it from prying eyes, with the help of efficient data protection strategies, methods and tools. The boom of the internet since the beginning of the 21st century is highly massive. Today, there are huge volume of data being shared on the web on a daily basis. While this is a progressive direction for the globe, it also has some detriments particularly with some people having easy access to users’ data online. In fact, there have been several high profile data leaks in recent years from top digital firms which show the magnitude of problems the world is facing regarding data security.
Therefore, it is crucial to learn how to protect your data and guarantee your privacy both online and offline. Towards this end, we have compiled different ways towards efficient data protection. Relax and read further.
How to keep your data safe offline
It is always important to follow safe practices with regards to your personal data either at work or in your homes. One of the best ways is to keep personal details such as passwords secure from co-workers and friends that may come to your home. We also recommend limiting the number of personal documents you carry about. Only essential documents like ID cards and financial cards like debit cards and credit cards should be within your wallet/purse; and make sure you keep the wallet safe.
Your social security card should be left at home with copies made which can be carried along as a means of safeguarding your original card. In addition, you should shred all forms of documents that have expired or no longer useful.
How to keep your personal data safe online
First, the most important thing to know in the quest to safeguarding your data online is that you should be wary of any entity, platform or organization that request for your data.
Double Check on Websites that request for your Data
Always perform prior checks on a website before providing your financial or personal information. You should always be certain on how your data will be used before providing websites crucial information about yourself.
For example, if you receive an email from a company requesting you to update your personal information via email. It is better not to click on such links but instead search for the name of the company and contact them via their customer service outlets. You can also call a customer representative via the numbers on the site and inquire whether the company sent an email to you. This way, you are sure that the email sent to you is not a spam.
Always get rid of your data on devices that you no longer use
One of the mistakes we make when changing our internet devices is failing to get rid of personal information contained within the computer or mobile device. It is important that you wipe all data within your internet devices before disposing or selling them.
For example, to wipe the data off your PC hard drive, you can use a number of utility software that would overwrite the data on the hard drive. This ensures that if the PC gets to the wrong hands, they would be unable to retrieve your personal data.
For mobile devices, you should remove the memory card and SIM card from their slots respectively. Also clear directories such as call logs, messages and web browsing history. In addition, read the user manual on how to delete your personal data from your mobile devices. Most mobile phone manufacturers allow users access to factory reset their devices.
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Use a Data Encryption Software
Another effective way to protect your data online is to install a data encryption software and we recommend the use of a special encryption software called VPN (Virtual Private Network). VPNs help to encrypt data by sending your data via a secured tunnel that buffers between your device and the website you are accessing. It is also important to use top class VPNs that have excellent reputation such as ExpressVPN and IPvanish.
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Use strong Passwords
Use strong passwords to secure your accounts on the web by utilizing a combination of letters, numbers and special symbols. You can also use special password generators to create random passwords. If you feel that you won’t be able to remember long form passwords. Store all your passwords in a Password manager preferably on your mobile device. With this you would need just one password to access the list of passwords for your accounts.
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Be careful when sharing data on Social Networks
One of the dangers of social networks is that your information can be easily accessed by anybody. Be careful about the details you reveal on your social network pages. Consider using privacy features that limits access to your profile to a small group of people. Never post personal details such as your address, account numbers and social security numbers publicly.
Keep your devices safe
Use security software on your devices
We advise that you install security software such as anti-virus, and a firewall on your computer. Meanwhile, it is not enough to install security software without setting ideal preferences to update protection on your device regularly. Also, ensure that you install software and applications from the main developers and avoid cracked software. This is essential because most cracked software contain malware that can compromise the integrity of your computer.
Avoid Clicking on Phishing Emails
Phishing emails are mails that usually contain a link to a website or a program from strange platforms. Never click on a link or download a program you don’t know from your Email. This could expose your device to a malware or spyware that could capture your information such as passwords and identity.
Be careful when using Public Wi-Fi
One common mistake that people make is connecting to public Wi-Fi without a form of protection on their device. It has been noted that public wireless network is a hub for hackers who spy on unsuspecting users and steal personal information. If you are using a public Wi-Fi, we advise that you use a VPN as this would help protect your device. VPNs hide your IP address thereby preventing hackers from accessing your device.
Read Privacy Policies on Websites