6 ways to protect your personal data

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The majority of businesses have data policies and systems in place that help to protect their data and that of their customers. But with the rise in companies allowing remote working and bring your own devices (BYOD), how can businesses and employees ensure that their data remains secure, no matter where they are accessing it. In this article, we’ll take a look at six ways that you can help protect your personal and business data.

Use strong passwords

This is probably one of the most singularly effective measures you can take to help protect your data and information. Your password should contain a combination of letters, numbers and special characters and should be completely unique for each website. Avoid re-using the same password, even if it is extremely secure, as all it takes is for one of your accounts to get hacked for all of your other accounts to be compromised. One of the best options is to use a password management service which allows you to safely store all your passwords in a single location – just make sure the password you use to manage this is secure and do not use this anywhere else.

Enable two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication works on the basis of something known and something owned. So the known element is your password while the owned element is often your mobile phone number. When you log in using your password you are then asked to enter a security code which is sent to your mobile phone number, this helps to prevent fraud by ensuring that you need access to a physical asset in order to confirm your identity.

Most websites and systems now have inbuilt two-factor authentication in place, or you can use Microsoft’s free two-factor authentication app for most services. Where possible always enable two-factor authentication as an additional level of security which will help to stop fraudulent activity and unauthorised access of your accounts and services.

Set up anti-theft protection

What would happen if your device was stolen? Would your data be protected, or would someone be able to access all of your personal and business data using stored passwords and settings? If your business operates a BYOD policy, then it is important to put in place measures to protect your data and that of your customers should your devices be lost or stolen. Anti-theft software works to remotely delete data from your devices should they go missing, helping to protect your personal data.

Back-up your data

Backing up your data on a regular basis is a great way to ensure that should you need to delete data on your device that you do not permanently lose your information and data. They also form part of a businesses’ disaster recovery solution and ensure that should your machine be infected by ransomware that you are able to roll back to a previous version which will then erase the malware from your device.

Personal solutions such as iCloud and Google Drive allow users to back-up their devices on a regular basis while business solutions such as Acronis and Arcserve will provide a more robust solution.

Limit your sharing via privacy settings

One of the simplest measures to protecting your personal data is limiting the amount of information you are sharing. From social media platforms to your online accounts, the majority of online platforms will have some sort of privacy setting that will help you control how much information you share. Making these setting more private will help to reduce the data that you share with complete strangers and make it harder for people to hack your accounts.

Run updates

Always set your computer to allow automatic updates especially for your operating system as these will help to keep your system up to date. Software updates such as patches will help to prevent the newest types of attacks from affecting your system and help keep your personal data safe.

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