This data is mine, mine, mine, mine
Recently we had Data Privacy Day, a day to raise awareness and promote data protection best practices. Much like Cyber Security Awareness Month (October if you are wondering) it’s a chance to educate the masses, to make sure people outside the security industry are aware of the pitfalls of data privacy, and how important it is to keep data hidden, tucked up and warm like a Mogwai on a rainy day!
Now there are various quick fixes which can allow you to keep your data safe from the hackers of the world. They are not tricky, they are not technical, just nice and easy tips to help you keep everything as hidden as possible. Let’s take for example public Wi-Fi; it’s brilliant isn’t it? You can stream content whilst your partner shops for the 100th pair of shoes on a Saturday afternoon, but it’s not the most secure network and if you start downloading third-party applications you may accidentally receive malware that can then harm your device and steal data.
Another tip is focused on ransomware. It’s been in the news daily and there’s a nice simple solution to make sure you don’t fall victim to it; backing up your data. There’s evidence of some security researchers decrypting ransomware strains but more often than not you have to empty out your piggy bank and pay the hackers. A complete back up can get you out of a tricky situation, as long as it’s stored on a secure device.
Phishing scams, much like ransomware, are an ever heightened trend that’s emerging throughout the world. Now I’m not talking about Robson Green claiming he’s caught the biggest Marlin on his newest TV series, but the social engineering attack that targets people on a daily basis. They often appear legitimate, they are from friends, families, a company that you already have a connection with but it’s just as easy to verify the source before you click on a link or attachment.
There was an article in January about the most common passwords of 2016 and the main tip for Data Protection Day is to never reuse passwords. Many people would use the same password across all of their accounts and devices. This is a big no-no in terms of keeping your data safe. One hack into a Facebook account and then the rest of your accounts would be vulnerable.
All of these seem pretty simple and common knowledge, especially to people who work within a security focused role. Much like the whole product vs process debate that reigns on in the cybersecurity industry, it’s all about educating people as much as possible. That good old anti-virus protection you have on your laptop will do as much as it can to keep hackers at bay, but if you leave yourself open to attack, or don’t follow the best practices when it comes to keeping yourself safe, your defence will deplete. Don’t be a fool, secure your tool!
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