Stay safe out there. Top tips for data protection

5 August 2016

 

We all know how important it is to keep our passwords, personal, financial information and identity safe and away from prying eyes when online, but with so much advice out there it can sometimes get a bit confusing and difficult to decide on the best way to stay secure.

 

“Ideally, you will have separate computers for work and personal use; this will offer a different type of protection.” United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-Cert)

 

Simple, straightforward ways to keep your devices safe from threats

With the increasing importance for businesses, consumers and families alike to protect computers, laptops, and mobile devices safe from hackers and malware, it’s becoming critical to use sound practices to keep your data secure. Here’s a few tips:

 

Keep your devices and networks secure

1. Encrypt your data.

2. Backup your data.

3. Use the Cloud as backup for a guarantee of adequate disaster recovery.

4. Install those updates!

5. Securely dispose of old computers and other devices.

 

“If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all... And DON’T write it on Facebook either!” Social Media E-Cards

 

Protect your data on social networking

1. TMI – don’t share everything on Facebook. Only share what you’d be comfortable with strangers seeing.

2. Customise your privacy settings.

3. Block suspicious users.

4. Only accept friend requests from people you know.

5. Protect your Tweets by setting to ‘private’ for personal communications.

 

Protect your data online

1. Don’t carry out sensitive transactions, such as banking on public Wi-Fi.

2. Don’t forget to sign out, especially when using a public computer.

3. Don’t open emails from strangers.

4. Store your most sensitive data locally.

5. Use an encrypted Cloud service.

 

What to do following a data breach

1. Change your passwords straight away.

2. Request a new credit card, if required.

3. Take advantage of free credit monitoring.

4. Don’t ignore reports from friends about mysterious emails coming from your accounts.

5. Learn from your mistakes, by finding out why a breach or hack occurred.

 

Keep your data safe with secure computer recycling and data destruction.

When it’s time to update your computers and technology products, responsible computer recycling and secure data destruction is vital, if you want to keep your personal and organisational data to yourself. So if your company is one that is committed to the ethical recycling of its obsolete computers and technology products, make sure secure and environmentally friendly computer recycling that adheres to proper recycling regulations is part of your consideration, to ensure ultimate data security. It’s also important to be aware that companies are now legally obliged to safely dispose of potentially sensitive information in accordance with current security laws and the Data Protection Act of 1998. Be sure only to use a computer recycling company that operates in accordance with, and preferably exceeds all government guidelines such as the WEEE Directive and the Data Protection Act.


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