7 ways to protect confidential data
Why is it so important to secure your confidential data in 2021 Hacking is now more accessible than ever. There are many Internet users that aim to “steal” your personal data. Yet, they shouldn’t. You can manipulate ads and content suggestions, create accounts, and even act for others. We have compiled 7 easy-to-use methods to protect your data so you can rest peacefully at night.
1. Create strong passwords!
If your password is difficult to guess, anyone can gain access to your account. In recent years hackers have been able to improve their methods so that they are extremely effective. For example, a simple password can easily be discovered through brute force attacks in just a few seconds. It is important to create strong passwords for every account in order to protect confidential information and to keep it updated.
What does complex refer to? Complex is a password that contains different characters (letters and numbers as well as spelling and punctuation) but not actual words. Although it may seem like a lot of work that you don’t have the time or desire to do, it is not. These are two quick ways to quickly create complex passwords:
You can search Google for the password generator, an example is here.
These are abbreviated sentences. Think of a sentence as: This is my February 2021 Facebook password. You can abbreviate it by using lowercase and uppercase (AePmdFP022021. ).
But how do you remember all those passwords? You may think this question is stupid, as you can save them in the browser. However, the stupidity of the question is not correct. Although it is a time-saving option, you should not allow the browser to remember your password. If a cyberbully has access to your device and implicitly your browser, he can access all of your accounts. You can either use an algorithm to create passwords (see below), or you can write them down somewhere else (not on a sticky note to stick to your monitor). Keep your passwords safe and secure in a notebook.
2. Keep up-to-date with the latest software versions and back up all your data.
You are aware that you need to “Update your Software!” notification. You keep forgetting and it has become part your home screen. It is not necessary to press “Remind Me Later!” If you wish to keep your confidential data secure,
These updates are necessary to guard against hacker attacks. Hackers have to exploit vulnerabilities in older versions more often than they do newer ones. It is important to update the device regularly! You can also choose to have the update done automatically at a time when it is unlikely that you will use the device.
A second tip is to backup your personal data. It is possible to scan all data stored in an archive or cloud so that any unusual changes and attempts to access them can be identified and stopped. A secure backup system such as Boxcryptor can encrypt data in transit and stored already.
3. Do not share too much on social media!
Social media users are increasingly sharing too much, particularly among teens and young adults. Hackers are looking for this type of data to gain access to user accounts that could be valuable and then phishing victims.
Hackers can use the information you reveal about your private life to guess your passwords (that’s if you didn’t follow our first tip), answer security questions, send scams that interest them, and create accounts with your information (even your banking). You should think carefully about how that data could be used in the future, even if you are comfortable sharing what you have posted.
While we aren’t telling you to delete all your social media accounts or anything, we will show you certain types of data that you shouldn’t put online.
Identification information (full name, date of birth, address, phone number, email address, etc.
Banking / Financial Information
Information about past jobs
Information about loved ones
It doesn’t matter if you want your Facebook friends to be kept up-to-date with your life, it’s better if they meet you for coffee and hear about your experiences. It helps you to protect your confidential information and build better relationships. Another tip: Don’t forget about deleting accounts that you don’t use anymore!
One example of this is the current collection of photos on social media about the COVID-19 vaccination certificates. Have you had your vaccination? Perfect. Don’t post on social media (Facebook and Instagram, blogs) anything with first and last names, CNP, key chains, etc. This phenomenon was also discussed by the US Federal Trade Commission.
4. Public Wi-Fis are to be avoided!
Nearly all hotels, restaurants and airports have a public Wi Fi network available to their customers. Public Wi-Fi is very useful in areas without strong signal. You should take precautions to ensure your confidential information is protected before connecting to a public network. You could be in for some unpleasant surprises.
One of the most popular attacks is the Man in the Middle (MitM). This attack allows a hacker to disrupt the direct connection between your device and the Internet source. He can then access your activity, such as searches, log-ins and websites accessed. Public networks are not protected so data can be accessed easily, even unencrypted.
What should you do? You can avoid connecting if you don’t need it. Also, be aware of hotspots that appear to be public networks. You can take the following steps to protect yourself if you feel it is necessary:
VPN (Virtual Private Network), which allows you to remain anonymous and ensures that your connection is encrypted.
Only HTTPS sites are allowed.
Don’t log in to websites that have sensitive personal information.
5. Encrypt your data on your devices!
You’ve probably heard the term “encrypted” many times in your daily life. Encryption is a system that encodes data.
An example of encryption: “Nvmunjn db djtfttj bstjdpmvm!”. We know the answer to your question. The sentence you have just read is: “Thanks for reading the article!” Encrypted by replacing each letter with a letter from the alphabet.
Why is encryption so important? They are encrypted so that your confidential data cannot be accessed or read by anyone, even a cyberbully. It is easy to do. If you are a Windows user, you can go to your computer’s security settings to encrypt data. OS users will use FileVault, which you will find in System Preferences. You can also do this on your phone from the settings.
Once you have finished encrypting your data, you can continue to use data in transit while surfing the Internet. Again, thankfully, it’s simple. A VPN can be used to protect data traffic. An encryption extension can also be used for online communication methods that don’t provide encryption at the end. FlowCrypt is a good option for Gmail.
6. You should not accept all cookies
Cookies are explained in a separate article. In short, a cookie can be a text file that is downloaded to your “terminal equipment”, such as a computer, smartphone, tablet, or other device, when you visit a website or mobile app.
There are many types of cookies. That’s why you can choose whether you accept all cookies or want to personalize a website. The second option is recommended because a third-party cookie (also known as “third-party”) may be sent from a different website to yours. It can also come from ads.
You would disable them to ensure that your information isn’t retained by the foreign site and used later to modify the content or to retain any other valuable information you might have given to the site accessed. This can be done from the browser settings. How? Take a look at this.
However, they can be useful and aren’t always bad cookies. You can also activate them via the settings.
Don’t click on or accept any banners asking you to sign up for a subscription. Be careful with the files that you download, such as the “wheel of Fortune” or other files.
7. Be realistic!
This advice, which is about your mentality, may be the hardest to implement. Many people believe they can’t be victims of a data breach because they don’t have important jobs or are successful business owners. Your confidential data may not be of any interest, even though you might not have conversations with Joe Biden or hundreds of thousands of euro in your bank account.
They can be used to manipulate you by manipulating you with all the suggestions they will give you. Even worse is the possibility of losing money. Because it doesn’t have the right to free thinking and isn’t even aware, a crowd that thinks in a controlled manner is dangerous for society.
Be realistic and understand that you may be in this situation.