Data requires protection and security at all stages and levels. People need to be certain that their data will be safe whether it’s in storage, being worked on or being transferred. Different types of data and different actions performed on data will often have different kinds of protections. Here are five tips for protecting your data.
1. Remember To Protect Your Data When It Is at Rest
The term data at rest refers to data that is not being transferred between locations. This includes data waiting to be accessed in someone’s email inbox, files being stored in a laptop’s hard drive and data stored in the cloud. Data loss can occur at any point in a file’s lifetime, whether it’s at rest or being moved or manipulated. Each stage of data storage or usage requires different types and levels of security. Data at rest makes up a far larger amount of data that may be put at risk than data in transit. Your data at rest can benefit from strategies such as access control, which utilizes tools and technologies meant to ensure only those with appropriate credentials may access specific networks or files.
2. Practice Good Data And Security Hygiene
The basics of safe computer usage apply to data at rest. Make sure you use the basic security tools at your disposal, such as firewalls and antivirus software. Other tools you should consider using include multi-factor authentication and password managers, particularly if you find it difficult to create or remember complex passwords that cybercriminals are unlikely to crack. You should also always remember to regularly check for, download and install all updates and patches for your security software to avoid any holes in your data protection.
3. Know When And How To Safely Use Mobile Apps
Mobile apps are incredibly useful and convenient, but they can also be relatively risky to use compared to an internet browser. Think carefully about what you want to do with an app and whether it would be safer to use a browser. For example, mobile banking apps can be quite user-friendly, but you can better secure your data and money by using a protected browser for online banking. If you can use a browser instead of an app, delete that app from your phone. If you must use the app, turn off or adjust its data permissions to prevent people from accessing your data through the app.
4. Educate Yourself And Others
One of the easiest and most important ways to protect your data is by educating yourself and others. Individuals can research online for the best ways to protect their data and how to prevent themselves from falling victim to cybersecurity breaches in their personal device usage. A company’s IT team should make sure information and educational resources are available for employees about safe internet usage and how to use and support the company’s security tools. Particular emphasis should be placed on understanding social engineering attacks such as phishing, smishing, baiting, scareware and spear phishing.
5. Utilize Multiple Layers of Security
Remember that less isn’t always more when it comes to security. You should never stop at just one or two tools because every tool has its flaws. Instead, develop a multi-layered web of security tools and strategies that can complement each other. This way, one tool can make up for the weaknesses of another and you will be able to protect or monitor more potential holes in your security, minimizing or eliminating weak points in your protection. The more intricate and difficult to break through your security measures are, the less attractive a target you become and the less likely cybercriminals are to continue trying to break into your systems and steal or damage your data.
Make sure your data is protected no matter what you’re doing with it or what type of data it is. Some data may require more robust types of security than others. It’s important to review your options before making any decisions about what security tools and strategies you plan to use.