It seems like every other week that we are reading about another corporate hack or data breach in the news. Advances in technology have allowed us to connect and work in new and exciting ways, but they have also revealed the vulnerability of our personal information. If major corporations like these are at risk of being hacked, smaller organizations and individual professionals who don't have the resources to implement complex security systems to protect their data are clearly at risk as well. Now more than ever, it is crucial that we are all mindful of protecting our personal data; here are a few simple security tips that will give you some peace of mind.
1. Take Your Passwords Seriously
Your password should be easy for you to remember but not something that might be easy for someone else to guess; try using a sequence of words, numbers, and symbols or abbreviate a memorable phrase with a mnemonic device. Don’t use the same password for all of your online accounts, because if one of your accounts gets hacked all of your accounts could become compromised. You can even password protect individual sensitive documents or files on Microsoft or Adobe Acrobat.
2. Call for Backup
Make sure you backup your data, it’s pretty easy to set up your computer to backup automatically. You can store data safely using external hard drives and secure cloud systems. If your system crashes or you lose your data somehow you will be protected and save yourself a lot of time and effort.
3. Anti-Malware is Your Friend
As our technology becomes more advanced and complex, so do viruses. Make sure you have software on your computer that protects you from malware, ransomware, phishing scams, and other potential breaches.
4. Be Careful With Wi-Fi
It’s important to be wary that public Wi-Fi networks can be very vulnerable to hacking and surveillance. Sometimes, a public network might be the only option available, but if that’s the case you should avoid making transactions and sharing or airdropping files.
5. Encrypt, Encrypt, Encrypt!
Encryption is a way to protect yourself in the unfortunate circumstance that you do experience a hack or other form of data breach. Even if your server is compromised your data will still be protected.