In today’s high-technology world that constantly evolves, a lot of processes are streamlined and made faster. Nonetheless, with the internet accessibility, wherein almost all things could be searched and even accessed, the concern on private data could not be emphasized more. Keeping personal information safe now is the exception, not the rule. Data protection has to be a priority.
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In website development, the most valuable things on networks and devices that you use are the data you made and stored. Operating systems and applications could be reinstalled all the time, but data that’s user-made is one-of-a-kind. If it gets seen without authority or even lost, the outcome could be destructive.
In a company setting, the network could contain documents with personal information about their staff and clients, trade secrets, or financial records. Apps on a computer, phone, or other personal devices could expose your social security number, bank account information, and credit cards. Identity theft is real, one that is becoming frequent in the digital age we are now.
Data privacy relates to the way a piece of data or information should be handled, based on its relevance. You would likely share your name with a stranger when introducing yourself, but some information you wouldn’t share, at least not until you are more acquainted. In this digital era, we apply the data privacy concept to vital personal information, such as PII or personally identifiable information, and PHI, or personal health information, particularly in healthcare technology.
This could include your health and medical records, social security numbers, bank and credit card numbers, financial data, and even the basic yet still sensitive data, including full names, birthdates, and addresses.
Data that is meant to be private falls into the wrong hands could mean bad things could occur. Thus, protecting data is a must. While protecting your security and privacy is paramount, it need not be a daunting or complex task. For instance, when you partner with a web development company for your corporate or business endeavor, the service provider has strategies put in place to keep your personal data from being breached. Data that should be protected
Major pieces of information that are stored usually by organizations, be that customer details, records of employees, transactions, loyalty schemes, or data collection, should be protected. This is to prevent information from being misused by third parties for fraud, like identity theft and phishing scams.
Some of the common data that your company may store, include the following:
- Telephone numbers
- Health information
- Bank and credit card details
How to Protect Your Personal Data
It’s not only the business industry that needs data protection but other industries as well, including the healthcare IT field. All kinds of personal information could be used by unscrupulous people. Cybercrime has become rampant, thus protecting vital and personal information should be the priority of everybody. Here are some tips to protect private data from being exploited.
Here are ways to protect your data:
1. Software Updates
Often, software companies, such as in particular a PHP web development company if you’re building or integrating your website with the PHP platform, often release updates that fix vulnerabilities and bugs when they’re discovered. You should therefore never put off updating your software, especially on your operating systems. Software that’s left outdated could have security flaws, which could leave your prone to privacy or data breach.
2. Protecting your Password
Robust passwords and refraining from using the same across devices and websites is one of the best ways of digital invasion protection. Lock your phone with a strong password, Touch ID, or fingerprint. Using a password manager could help keep tabs of password combinations, like a LastPass or 1Password, which keep your passwords strong, stored, and unique across all devices and accounts.
With a password manager, you need not worry about making passwords memorable. Go ahead, be random, sprinkle in punctuation marks and numbers, and be anything you want except predictable.
3. Lock Apps
When you have set a lock on your phone, go further, and lock actual applications. App lockers provide more security levels for your applications and work the same as a lock-screen feature. In case your phone is stolen, or someone else uses it, all contents stored in your apps would stay locked behind a passcode.
At the workplace, app lockers could control which files and applications that users could run. Furthermore, they promote software licensing conformance across the company and better app inventory.
4. Disable the Lock-screen notifications
Turning off lock-screen app notifications on your phone is a seamless way of hiding your personal data, which could pop up on the lock screen. Disable the app notifications to keep social media notifications and texts away from prying eyes.
5. Encryption of Data
Encryption is meant to scramble data so nobody will understand it without a key. This is useful not only to protect computer information but also to ensure that emails and text messages on the phone will not be subject to prying eyes. There are free iPhone and Android apps available, which are easy to use, such as WhatsApp and Signal.
Productivity apps on your computer, like Adobe Acrobat and Microsoft Office enable you to set passwords on a certain kind of encryption and individual documents to be used. EFS, or Encrypting File System, and disk encryption products let you encrypt folders, files, flash drives, and removable USB drives among others.
6. Keep Browsing to yourself
Make sure to use a VPN, or a Virtual Private Network when using free Wi-Fi in public places. This is to hide personal information from people who are using the same unsecured or public network. However, make sure that the VPN service is legitimate and trusted to maintain privacy.
Besides shielding your browsing details, the VPN would encrypt all coming and going data, as well as hide your location.
7. Backing Up
Should anything happen to the data you created on your device or network, or in case you lose it, you could quickly recover it if you backed it up. Backups help protect documents, pictures, as well as other data not just from technical malfunction, but from ransomware and other malicious hacking as well. For the best data protection, back up to an external hard drive, online service, or both.
Personal Data Protection is King
Stolen identity prevention
Identity theft is when another person gets to access your personal data and pretend that they are you over the internet. These people could retentive your login details for various websites, or commit cyber-crimes, such as for instance tax fraud, all the time pretending that they are you.
This is a crime that could have lasting consequences for your online reputation and digital privacy.
Fortunately, you could lower the odds of identity theft by reducing the information you provide:
- Fill out only the required fields and offer a few details about yourself as possible.
- Never give personal information to anybody calling you on the phone or sending you an email asking for your data, and never click on any attachments or links.
- Never bring your social security card around. Keep it in a secure location at all times.
- Before discarding them, wipe old devices. Someone could access to valuable personal information stored in your old computers, phones, and tablets.
Financial information protection
Cyber thieves and criminals could take your banking details and make unauthorized purchases, transfers, and withdrawals. Even if financial websites have encryption, still there are ways for you to keep your money as safe as possible. Your banking information? Do not share it with anyone else.
When you make a payment and have to choose between your bank and credit card number, opt for the credit card. It has fraud protection details, which are not found on your bank account.
- Use of robust passwords containing at least 12 characters. Include symbols, capital letters, and numbers.
- Buy online only from secure sites. After the ‘Http’, look for the “S”, which means it has protection from SSL or Secure Sockets Layer encryption.
- 2-factor authentication. An added step to encoding secret code, which is forwarded in your email when you attempt to log in.
- Log in to online banking only on a protected home network. If you must log in when you’re out, use your cellular data instead.
- Check ATMs for skimming devices. Before inserting your card, make sure to check out the card reader to determine if it looks queer in any way.
- Don’t save payment information online. Having financial data on a site for future purchases makes it easier for hackers to shop there as well.
Maintain your brand’s reputation
If you have a business, then all the more reason to worry about data privacy. A single data breach could cost millions. Aside from these costs, failure on your part to protect the personal data of customers could destroy their trust in your business, and trust is a major factor in any purchasing decision.
Take into account the following to safeguard the personal information of customers:
- Remove the personal information of your key employees from the web. This makes it more difficult for hackers to customize attacks.
- Encrypt data. Make sure to transition to Secure Sockets Layer encryption to transmit sensitive data.
With the growing amount of personal data being stored on electronic devices, online, and on the cloud, cyber-crime is a rising concern. Implementing good practices in protecting data reduces the risks a great deal.