Data Security Tips for Everyday Users

Cyber attacks are becoming more prominent in recent times. Not only are individuals victims of this heinous act, but firms and companies have also been rendered moribund following the impact of criminals who resort to the illegal acquisition of personal or organizational data for shady purposes.

This article will provide helpful tips on how best to tighten the security of one’s personal data against cybercriminals.

Backup Your Data

The best security tools, expertise, and protocols require storing backups. Backups can protect your data from deletion, ransomware attacks, or grave errors. It’s the ultimate redundancy protocol; you start from the last backup if everything else fails.

Backing up data is also a reliable way of securing one’s personal information from the reach of cybercriminals. You can use the 3-2-1 backup strategy, wherein you create three copies of your data, store two of them on local but different devices, and have at least one copy offsite. 

If one copy doesn’t work, you will at least have the other two to work with; if your premises get damaged (for example, by a flood or fire), you will have the offsite backup to rely on.

Normally, a hack will interrupt your computer usage, and you’ll find yourself wondering, “why is my computer so slow?’ Also, if you experience a hack, your data will remain protected when you possess a backup. If a hack compromises your data, you can restore your backup and strengthen your security protocols to ensure it doesn’t reoccur.

Enable Multi-Factor or Two-Way Verification

Two-factor authentication uses two authentication mechanisms to verify a user. For example, when you want to access your bank account online, it will ask for a password, then ask you to input a pin sent to your listed phone number. 

Two-factor authentication secures your account from unauthorized access even if the hacker has one authentication mechanism, like your password. It also serves to warn that someone is trying to access your account. Doubling down on security features such as multi-factor verification for logins can checkmate likely data-related threats. Resorting to two-step verification for as many apps as possible can also help prevent any data-related problem.

Verify All Email Address Domains

Cybercriminals use emails as veritable ways of illegally obtaining data from their victims. They can send you an email that mimics those from a superior officer, colleague, customer, or business partner. If you click on such a link, it will either load malware onto your system or gain control of your device.

There is a difference between a username and an email address; you will often find that the username looks official, but the domain name in the email won’t correspond. To prevent this problem, it is always important to always check the domain of an email address to be sure that it matches where the mail is coming from.

Utilize Password Managers

Cybercriminals sometimes find a way of detecting passwords with a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols that are easy to identify. To make your data secure, you will need to have long passwords that are random characters put together. Furthermore, your username should be just as difficult. It’s highly recommended to regularly change your password and username while ensuring that no two accounts use the same credentials.

Keeping track of such passwords and usernames is difficult for most people unless they use a password manager. A password manager can generate and store secure credentials. Resorting to a password manager is a viable way of obtaining strong passwords and ensuring they don’t crosslink between sites.

Examine a URL Before Clicking

When perusing the internet, you should hover around URLs to ensure their legitimacy before clicking. Users should not be quick to click links requiring their personal information and should watch out for emails asking for personal details.

A good practice to follow is if you hover over a URL, your browser will show where the link will direct you at the bottom left of your browser. If the address looks suspicious, then avoid it.

An SSL certificate is an authentication mechanism that protects your data. If you use a website, ensure that it has an SSL certificate. Websites with an SSL certificate have a locked padlock icon on the address bar.

Protect Your Data

While handling several personal and work items on your devices, hackers are always trying to steal the information you create and store in it. If hackers gain access to your data, they can use it to steal your identity, blackmail you, extort you, or perform other criminal acts. Protect your data by adopting the above tips.

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