When it comes to the internet and our computers, we would like to assume that everything is safe, but in fact, it is quite the opposite. Recent hacks and leaks have shown that nothing is safe and if steps aren’t taken to protect sensitive information, it is going to find a way out. Fortunately, there are a few steps that you can take to help beef up the security of either your own personal network, or your company’s network. While it won’t lock things up completely, it will make it almost impossible for someone to break in and steal information. Here are some of the top ways to protect your online data.
Security For the Cloud
Cloud storage has been one of the greatest and most convenient things that has been invented for people. It allows a person to store data on a centralized network that can then be accessed by any device that has access to the cloud. While this is extremely convenient for those who work from home or have multiple devices, it is also extremely convenient for hackers. All they have to do is gain access to your cloud, and then they have access to all of your data that has been uploaded onto it. If you need a reminder of how easy it is, just look back towards the iPhone cloud leaks where many celebrities had their private photos stolen and leaked online.
To counteract this, companies have started to create and come up with cloud security that can help to give the everyday person a better sense of safety. Cloud Security Posture Management or CSPM tools are tools that you can employ to help keep yourself protected. What do these tools do?
First, they work to see how secure your network is in the first place and will show you areas where you are vulnerable. Next, the tools will continue to carefully monitor your cloud for any suspicious events. Finally, these tools will make recommendations as to how you can improve your vulnerabilities and keep yourself protected moving forward. You should strongly consider using these types of tools if you are someone who uses the cloud often.
Use a VPN
A virtual private network or VPN is a connection that completely hides what you are doing from the rest of the world. Think of it as a tunnel for your web browsing. Without a VPN, people are able to look in and see exactly what you are doing. A VPN on the other hand will completely shield all of it, making you completely anonymous. If someone tries to track your IP to figure out your location, they are going to be bounced back to the VPN provider. Because of all of this, you can do whatever your work requires in safety, without fear of someone coming in and stealing information.
Use an Antivirus
Most of the time, the data breaches that happen aren’t a result of someone actively hacking into your data, but instead through a virus that has manifested itself onto your computer. A lot of times these viruses pop up because of something we have clicked or downloaded. Catching viruses can be very difficult, but if you have a good antivirus program that you are constantly updating, you stand the best chance. These programs constantly scan your computer for anything malicious and will remove it as soon as it finds something. It won’t catch everything, but a good antivirus will go about catching many of the things that are trying to steal your online data.
Use Different Passwords for Each Website
It’s easy to use the same website for every website that you visit, however it can lead to massive issues. As mentioned above, websites are constantly under attack and if someone is able to hack into a website and obtain your personal information, everything else you have is now at risk. By using a different password for every website, even if that one website gets compromised, you don’t have to worry about your other sites.
Thankfully, there are tools out there that can help you find out if any of your passwords have been compromised by previous data leaks. From there, you can go about finding out what passwords have to be changed. It is a little tedious, and having to make a unique password each time can certainly be frustrating, but in the end you are protecting yourself online by using this method.
Two-Factor Authentication or 2FA for short is one of the best and most secure ways of protecting your online data. You will require a phone or another device to use, but if you do have this, no one will be able to break into your accounts. If 2FA is properly enabled, when you login to your account on your computer, you will be sent a code to your mobile device. Simply enter the code that is given and you will be granted access. This form of protection works great as there is no way a hacker would have access to your phone. If you do lose your phone however you are in trouble as it can be difficult to remove 2FA, especially if you don’t have that device.
Don’t Save Your Password in Browsers
Another tempting thing to do is simply to save your passwords directly into the browsers making logging in that much easier. While it is convenient, if there is a data breach, you have now lost every password. Just think, if Google Chrome were to be compromised, all of your information would now be at risk. It might be annoying, but typing in your password each time online is one of the best ways to ensure your information does not get stolen.
These are all ways in which you can go about protecting yourself online. At the end of the day, you are going to be sacrificing some convenience for safety, but it is worth it, especially if you have financial information online. Take the time to research how you can improve your online security and make the necessary changes. How do you plan on protecting yourself?