Thanks to technology changing the way many companies do business, the issue of cybersecurity has never been more important. Protection of information is so vital that there is even a day dedicated to raising awareness and promoting privacy and data protection best practices.
Commemorated on 28 January every year, Data Privacy Day is celebrated on the date on which the Council of Europe’s Convention for the Protection of Individuals concerning Automatic Processing of Personal Data was opened for signature.
While data protection is every person’s responsibility, many people are unaware of some of the small things they can do every day to help protect their personal information. These are some of the guidelines that every person should follow when it comes to cybersecurity.
Never Click without Thinking
One of the most frequently used methods to infect desktop PCs and mobile phones with malware that could potentially give phishers or hackers complete access to a person’s personal information is through the use of unverified links that are sent via email. Many phishers try to trick people into clicking links that could result in a security breach, so always be wary of links and attachments that are sent from email addresses you do not recognise, and never enter your personal information into pop-ups that come from an unknown source.
Use Multi-Factor Authentication When Possible
Many people believe that having a strong password will protect them from hackers; however, that is no longer the case. Passwords can be leaked or broken, so users should make use of two-factor or multi-factor authentication whenever it is available. Types of multi-factor authentication can include a code that is sent to the user via a separate communication method, such as email or SMS, through the scanning of a fingerprint on an external device, or through the use of a USB dongle that will allow users access when used in conjunction with their username and pin.
Keep Software Updated
While keeping software updated may seem like a hassle when a person has multiple programs and applications that require frequent updating, it is an essential step in ensuring personal data stays private. Cybercriminals are known to exploit weaknesses in software that may have been fixed by the software provider in more recent patches, making users who are still using the old version vulnerable to attack.
For big companies that have to roll out software to multiple users and devices, the services of an IT support engineer may be required to ensure that the entire network is covered. Some companies that provide IT support, Kent-based Impreza IT included, specialise in data protection and can thus advise companies as well as individual users on the best ways to keep their data secure throughout this process. The specialists at Impreza IT are passionate about service and their team of cybersecurity experts take their responsibility to protect their clients’ data seriously, so be sure to visit Imprezait.co.uk to find out more about the services that they offer.
Only Use Secure Connections
Many entertainment centres and shopping malls now offer free Wi-Fi access to their clients and shoppers. While these offers of free Wi-Fi may be tempting, users should always be aware of the dangers of connecting to an unsecured network. Public Wi-Fi can be risky, so if you want to connect to a network outside of your home or office make sure it is secure, encrypted and preferably hidden.
As technology improves, so will cybercriminals continue to develop and refine methods to steal valuable or personal information. By following the practices outlined above, users can help prevent personal cyberattacks and stand a better chance of staying safe in the virtual environment.