In our technology-focused era, data is constantly being recorded online about every aspect of our lives – every detail, from our shopping preferences to our geographical location and who we follow on Facebook or Twitter can become a commodity. Data brokers, hackers, and third-party sites all strive to acquire and use this information.
That’s why it’s crucial that you stay up-to-date about data security best practices in 2022, so you know how to keep your sensitive information safe from those who shouldn’t have access to it.
Focus on phishing
You never know when a hacker may be able to break into your social media account – or when a potential attack may come pinging into your inbox. Some suspicious emails are clearly a virus, but others may be harder to spot. Look out for red flags such as poor spelling and grammar, strange links or attachments, or an unknown sender.
Keep all your passwords protected
These days you need a strong password for everything – and for good reason. These passwords help to verify your identity and keep your sensitive information safe from prying eyes. However, because these passwords can be quite complex, they can also be hard to recall when need be. Using a helpful program or app such as LastPass to store all of your passwords in one secure location will not only ensure you never lose them, but also means you don’t have to remember every password individually for all of your accounts.
Watch out for ransomware
Ransomware attacks are one of the most common, after phishing (those suspicious emails mentioned above). As the name suggests, in a ransomware attack your data is encrypted by the attacker and the only way to get it back is to pay them the money they require; in return, they will give you the key that decrypts your data. To help thwart these attacks, make sure you regularly and securely back up your data.
Make anonymous browsing part of your routine
When you browse the internet, your activity is monitored by tracking cookies – sometimes your data is also ‘leaked’ by search engines including Bing and Google, and data brokers and third-party sites can access it for their own purposes.
To avoid this happening, and to help keep your information as secure as possible, try using a web browser with a range of protective features. Mozilla Firefox is an ideal option, as it also includes ad-blockers and various add-ons that you can enable if you’d like.
Consider a data removal service
If you don’t want your personal information being used by data brokers for their own gain, you can subscribe to a data removal service such as Incogni.
With their knowledge of privacy laws, these services can take care of the opting-out process on your behalf. Furthermore, they ensure that your personal information remains out of the brokers’ hands in the future.
Make data security a priority
Protecting your sensitive information from hackers, data brokers and shadowy third-party companies is vitally important, particularly as the number of attacks and breaches grows year by year. Staying vigilant and using a range of security services and apps will help keep your information safe.