5 Reasons Why You Should Protect Your Data Now More Than Ever
Worried the social media platforms are selling your data to third parties? Your fears are far more justified than you might think. Are the banks making money off of you by analyzing your data? You bet. The examples go on and on, but one thing’s for sure. Your privacy is at stake, now more than ever.
1. Your social media profiles contain sensitive information
Do you know Facebook failed to report a massive data breach affecting 1.5m users? Many social media users have had their data compromised. If you believe it cannot happen to you, you should reconsider your stance.
The first line of defense is to think twice about what you upload to your profile. Then, make sure that the security you’ve set matches your standards and preferences. Finally, create a strong password. Use both uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special symbols for it. And never use the same password twice. Don’t leave your device unattended because you risk someone accessing your profile. The same holds if you access your social media profiles through a public computer. In that case, you should never save your passwords in the browser. And activate two-factor authentication just in case.
2. Webmasters and your ISP see your online activity
Think you’re anonymous when you connect to the worldwide web? Think again. For starters, your ISP knows every move you make. Without a VPN, it’s all laid bare on the table for all their employees with access to see. Depending on the specific nature of your online activities, you may need to keep them private. But upon the government requests, your ISP would have to hand your internet history over to a third party.
Not worried about the ISP? Then think about the individual websites that you visit. Their webmasters can see all the information you type and provide, plus they know your IP address. Along with it — your location. Once your IP is out in the open, it’s easy to discern the person who’s behind it.
3. Bluetooth vulnerabilities are never out of season
Bluetooth functionality has always been synonymous with convenience. But there is a price to be paid. It comes in the form of opening you to vulnerabilities that hackers like to exploit.
This year alone, researchers from Boston University found Bluetooth vulnerability that could reveal your location to the hackers. So, when you’re not using Bluetooth, it’s smart to turn it off. Sure, it’s possible to set it to undetectable mode, but hackers have still come up with ways to expose it. Why take the risk if you don’t have to?
4. Malware can steal your data
File-stealing malware never ceases to exist. InnfiRAT is a recent example of how dangerous it can be. Thus, you should always know what kind of data you’re storing on your devices. A good practice is moving essential documents to a USB flash drive or an encrypted hard drive and then deleting them on all the devices you use to connect to the internet. Another alternative is to rely on modern file encryption solutions like Nordlocker. That way, even if a hacker gets ahold of your files, they would be in an encrypted form. Thus, impossible to gain access to without the proper key.
5. Phishing relies on your mistakes
Many security threats prey on naivety and lack of proper education, phishing scams in particular. How do they work? The hackers present themselves as a voice of authority. They can pretend to be one of your superiors or an administrator of a website you’re registered to. Then they try to convince you to navigate to a fraudulent login form that’s designed to collect your data.
You can see how this endangers your login credentials. But that’s not all. Ransomware can find its way into your computer when you visit the infected website. Once you get hit by it, your files get encrypted. The hackers become the only ones who know the password needed for decrypting the data. And they ask you to pay for it.
Even if you hand over your hard-earned cash in hopes of recovering your files, there is no guarantee you will get them back. The hacker can always choose to run away with your money without giving anything in return.
Don’t take the safety of your data for granted. Approach the matter light-heartedly, and you will find yourself parting ways with your most important and sensitive files. The kind of files you would never wish to fall into the wrong hands.
The good news, though, is that you can make a stand against the threats. Take the necessary steps. Educate yourself and use the right cybersecurity tools. In other words, don’t be an easy target for hackers.