The gap between the real world and the virtual (online) one seems to be narrowing down with the passage of each year. We are continuously adding more personal data on multiple social platforms.
Though you could argue that this helps the algorithms set applications up according to our personal preferences, it does come with a variety of risks as you never know where the data you provide is headed to. Businesses and advertisers share user data with each other all the time to target an audience based on the niche.
While most businesses that are involved in user data exchange are well-compliant and trustworthy, it is beyond the user’s reach to know the intent of every business that has their data.
Even if you somehow dodge the shady businesses, the likelihood of losing your data to one of the many malicious lurkers on the internet is quite high. Therefore, it is extremely important to protect your data from leakage at all times. In this article, we will be providing you with 5 tips that will help you protect your data in 2020:
1. Create strong passwords and change them regularly
Passwords are key to entering any profile you create on any given website. Without them, even the owner of the profile cannot gain access to the data that lies within it. However, if leaked into the wrong hands, passwords can also become one’s worst enemy. You could not only lose the data within the profile but also lose access to the profile permanently as the invader might also change your password. This is why we recommend our readers to set strong passwords on every application they sign up for. Not only that, but we also recommend changing them frequently and not saving them on your personal devices. Now, it is evident that doing so will make you leave your comfort zone. However, it is a crucial step towards securing your data from getting leaked.
2. Enable VPN while browsing
In today’s time, most ISPs tend to encrypt our internet connections quite well. However, that does not mean that we are not susceptible to cyberattacks. In fact, it is very easy for hackers to invade your local network.
Adding to that, a lot of us tend to browse the internet on a public network which is even worse as it is a piece of cake for hackers to gain access to the data shared in such networks. To avoid data leakage, you need to enable a Virtual Private Network service on your device. This will allow you to browse the internet on a dedicated network that hides your IP address and encrypts all the data from third parties.
3. Enable cloud backups and/or keep hard drive backups
People tend to overlook creating backups of their data. For most of us, it doesn’t even cross our minds how easy it is to lose all your data at once. All it takes is a single click on a malicious link and all your profiles are handed to an unknown location.
Not to mention how vulnerable your devices are of theft when you go into a crowded place. To make sure that your data is safe even if you lose your mobile phones or are caught into the trap of a malicious person whose intent is to delete all your data, you need to enable cloud backups for all your important data. Alternatively, you can also opt for a hard drive (buy at least a 1TB one) and store all your data there.
4. Take a look at your privacy settings
Social platforms today come with thousands of settings its users can play around with. One area that goes amiss for most of us is the privacy settings. These are the settings that allow or disallow a particular set of users from viewing a certain set of information in your profile.
For example, when you post on Facebook, the website gives you the option of making it visible to the public or to friends only. Other than that, you can also show or hide other data such as your contact number or E-Mail address. Make sure you carefully go through the privacy settings on every social platform you use and hide whatever data you feel is personal and should not be disclosed publicly.
5. Keep your software updated
Though most devices today are set on automatic software updates, a lot of us turn it off due to a variety of constraints such as a limited data plan. Some of us even do it because we feel that the upgrade in a software is unnoticeable and unworthy at the same time.
However, doing so can have a variety of consequences. Developers release constant software updates on your device due to one simple reason – to fix bugs and/or security issues they found in the reason. Hence, if you opt-out of such valuable content, it makes you more vulnerable to cyberattacks. Thankfully though, all you need to do to dodge such issues is to turn on automatic updates on your device or check for updates every 15 days or so.
The amount of data uploaded over the internet is uncountable. With each passing day, developers are creating new platforms all of which require our personal data making it extremely susceptible to leakage. Though most developers try to make sure that user data is encrypted, one just can’t predict when a cyberattack will happen to lead all your valuable data to go into the wrong hands. To make sure that this doesn’t happen, you can follow the 5 essential tips enlisted above that will help you protect your data.