If you deal with data collection and processing daily or have your data stored in a database or somewhere else, you shouldn’t be too confident about the privacy and security of those data. Your data may be unsafe and may be under serious threat always, going by recent events across the globe.
Factors that may compromise your data or breach its security
This is the number one threat to the security of your data. A determined cybercriminal may target your data and either steal it or use the information for some criminal activities. Some other means of attack include impersonation, employee fraud, or theft.
According to a report by Privacy Rights Clearing House, approximately 36% of attacks on data are carried out via malware infection and other outside attacks. This figure is on the high side because these hackers don’t usually target small systems where a handful of records are kept but computer systems with thousands of personal records such as a financial administration area, medical center, human resource department, bursar, and other related places.
Sometimes, though, the attack may be personalized and you may lose your data in the process. A typical example of a personalized data is when your personal computer system is attacked to steal or manipulate your data. That makes your data quite unsafe.
Accidents can also affect your data negatively. You may inadvertently disclose your data to an unauthorized person who may use the data for whatever he or she deems it fit for.
The accidents that may have a huge negative impact on your data include losing your computer, mobile device, or loss of data through some other unexpected means. The loss of your purse, especially if it contains some valuable pieces of information about you such as your passwords or your credit card, may also lead to the loss of your data if the purse gets to the wrong person.
You can also lose your data to a computer virus. A computer virus is a piece of software virus that can be spread from an infected computer system to another. If your personal computer is infected by a virus, it could steal, corrupt, or delete any data stored on the computer.
Since there are a couple of ways that your computer can be infected by a computer virus, you are always at the risk of having your date either compromised or got rid of. You may be infected with a virus while downloading a file from the computer, while sharing a file with an infected system, or while browsing the Internet.
The threat of phishing also makes your data unsafe. Phishing is one of the most effective tools used by cybercriminals to get confidential data or information about an unwary person. Over the years, they have successfully used this tool to obtain private and confidential information from unsuspecting victims.
Phishing scams are always presented as email messages that emanate from legitimate sources. In a phishing email, the unsuspecting victim will be deceived into giving their confidential information as the criminals present the email as emanating from the victim’s email service provider, his or her bank, and other reputable organizations.
After providing the information, the attackers will use it to steal more information or have access to the victim’s bank account and other confidential information. Phishing has proved to be an effective tool in the hands of daredevil cybercriminals and you may be vulnerable to such an attack if you don’t put the right preventive measure in place.
Photo credit: Pixabay
Human error may also have a bad effect on your data. Some of the most common human errors with dire consequences include accidental deletion of an important file containing your data, improper drive partitioning/formatting, accidental removal or installation of files.
Putting your system where it is easily accessible to toddlers may also lead to accidental damage of the system and your confidential data stored in the system. The toddler may also accidentally delete some important files that may result in loss of data.
Such accidents may lead to the complete loss of your data, especially if you don’t have a backup for the data.
Photo Credit: Pixabay
However, you can minimize these challenges and increase the security of your data if you endeavour to take some preventive measures. Some of the measures that will prevent you from losing your data to unauthorized people include:
Most of the security threats associated with data are connected to ignorance. People ignorantly open phishing email messages, increase their vulnerability to attacks, and engage in activities that can also affect their data negatively. Thus, such individuals must replace their ignorance with accurate knowledge of security practices that will keep their data safe.
Over the years, different organizations have assumed the responsibility of increasing people’s awareness about data theft, breach, and loss. One of the outstanding organizations that have succeeded in this endeavour is Inspired eLearning. This online educational center will give you an adequate training that will help you take the security of your data seriously. The latest GDPR training is also being availed by them which you can check by clicking here.
Installing an efficient antivirus program on your computer is a good way to go. When you have the latest version of an effective antivirus program installed on your personal or office computer, you will reduce the risk of vulnerability to viral attacks drastically. This is because these antivirus programs are designed to detect the presence of a virus and either to remove the virus from your computer if it is already infected or prevent the virus from infecting the computer if it has not yet infected it.
In a nutshell, with an antivirus program on your computer, the security of your data is almost guaranteed.
Photo Credit: Pixabay
If you have a sensitive data saved on your computer or somewhere else, it is advisable that you create a backup for the data. The objective is to have something to fall back on if you accidentally have your data compromised or stolen.
You may create the back up in another drive, a flash drive, or have it stored in the cloud storage such as Dropbox. Thus, whenever you lose your data or it is compromised, you can always bank on the backup to ensure that you don’t lose everything completely.
The security of your data should be of paramount importance to you because there are criminals out there who are ready to take advantage of any loophole in your data security to steal your data or destroy it. Thus, if you can implement the suggestions in this article, you will reduce your vulnerability to data theft.