Keeping data secure is something that a vast number of people are concerned about, especially since we store and access so much private information digitally. Instead of locking data away in a filing cabinet in an office, we must turn to digital solutions to protect it from cyber criminals. Defending private data is a large responsibility, but there are steps that everyone can take to limit the risk of data compromise.
Create Strong Passwords
One of the best things to do to maintain data security is to have good password hygiene. Do not use the same password for multiple accounts, and do not use subject matter that can be linked to you. This includes your company, birth date, and the names of children or pets. Also try to avoid using the current month or year. A good practice is to use passphrases, stringing many words together. The longer the password, the better. Include numbers and symbols for complexity, as well as intentional misspellings to thwart dictionary attacks.
The fact is that many cyber attacks can be prevented simply by using long, complex, and unique passwords. However, the strength of the password is nullified if a malicious actor is able to access it. Do not store passwords in plain text on your computer or in an easily accessible physical location. Use a password manager, or store them securely in a locked drawer or safe.
While it may be slightly inconvenient to take these basic precautions, it is well worth it to avoid a hacked bank account or stolen proprietary data. The hassle of protecting your passwords is a tiny price to pay when compared to the cost of a data breach.
Implement Multi-Factor Authentication
Passwords are the first line of defense, but in a world of persistent and creative attackers, additional steps are needed. Whenever possible, enable multi-factor authentication to increase data security.
A password is something you know. Other types of authentication include something you have (such as a keycard) and something you are (biometric information). Multi-factor authentication requires at least two types of authentication — often a password plus an additional step — to gain access to an account. This extra step could be a time-limited code, biometric confirmation, or a physical USB key.
Multi-factor authentication can block automated and brute force attacks, keeping accounts more secure. With an authenticator app, USB token, or an SMS message, you can significantly decrease the chance of a breach.
Related – Making Cybersecurity A Habit
Manage Internet Connections
It is not only passwords and accounts that can be compromised. Connecting to public Wi-Fi also poses risks, since anyone can connect to it. It also likely does not have the same protections as a private network. To protect confidential data, do not share private information over an unsecured or public network.
Using a VPN is a good precaution, but it does not negate the need for safe internet practices. When working in a public space, only access websites using HTTPS, and keep your bluetooth turned off whenever you do not need it. Also, ensure you are connecting to the correct network. An attacker may set up a malicious wireless access point and pose as the desired network.
Your personal router may also present a risk. Secure your private home router and update settings and passwords to protect this important gateway to the digital world.
Protect Data Privacy
Many devices that contain confidential data are now small and mobile. While it takes planning and effort to steal a desktop computer, it is quite simple for anyone to reach out and grab a phone or tablet from a bag on the bus. It is worth installing a security software that offers device tracking as well as the ability to take action in the event a machine is stolen or misplaced.
Privacy measures are especially important for employees who work remotely, as there may be unauthorized users around the workspace regularly. Use privacy screen protectors to limit the risk of passersby viewing private information on a user’s device. Any network endpoint or remote device that handles sensitive data should never be left unattended.
Use Security Software
All private data should have digital safeguards to limit the chance of compromise if a device is stolen. Encryption should be the minimum requirement, but it is also worth investing in a security software that can wipe a device’s hard drive to remove confidential data. The software should be easy to use, since the data on a lost or stolen device could be compromised in a matter of seconds. A quality security software such as DriveStrike will allow a user to manage digital security for all their devices, from a user-friendly remote console.
In a world where mass quantities of sensitive data are stored digitally, it is important to take decisive steps to defend it. Luckily, there are software options to streamline this process. Small, easy-to-implement steps can make a world of difference in data protection. Start taking those steps today!
DriveStrike is a security software that offers endpoint security measures such as geolocation, remote device wiping, and encryption management services. Contact our customer service team with any questions, and sign up for your free trial today. Your security is our priority.
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Each day brings new data security challenges, so your organization needs simple and wide-reaching solutions to combat those challenges. DriveStrike is here to help you protect your most critical data with premium quality endpoint security. Start a free trial with DriveStrike today, and contact us if you need any assistance. Our team is always ready to answer your questions.