How to Protect Your Private Information and Data
How To Protect Your Private Information and Data
Data is the new oil today. Any device or network that you use runs on data and stores various personal information.
You are creating and storing data unconsciously every day. You can reinstall all the software and applications if they are deleted, but you cannot retrieve lost data.
If user-created data gets lost or accessed without authorization, the consequences can be severe. You need to know how to protect your privacy.
People often save their bank account details and card number on their devices. Any business organization has tons of confidential data, such as trade secrets, financial records, budgets, and personal information of its employees.
Yet, data thefts remain a worry. Even Adobe had over 153 million user records stolen back in 2013. Identity theft, for instance, is a threat that all of us are facing, and it is increasing with the growing trend of the internet. More than 13 million Americans became victims of identity theft in 2018.
If you are capable of protecting your personal information, then there is nothing to worry about. Here are six simple tricks that you must know to protect your private information.
Use Password Authentication for Every Software
The data is not stored only at one location but in several folders and software on any device. Thus, just a lock screen is not enough to protect your personal information.
You should set passwords on all the applications and folders where some critical private data is stored. Please do not use the same passwords for all the software. It might be hard to remember so many passwords, so you shall save them somewhere.
Always emphasize creating strong passwords that include alphabets, numbers, and special characters. For mobile phones, you can use a fingerprint lock or TouchID.
You may use a password managing application so that you need not memorize them. With such an application, you can be random while creating passwords.
We recommend you do not share these passwords with anybody that you do not trust. This way, you can ensure that nobody can access your information without permission.
Update Your Software Regularly
Software developers often release updates that patch glitches and vulnerabilities after they are discovered. That is why updating software regularly is crucial to protect yourself from digital invasion.
While working, you might often see a pop up on your screen asking you to update software, and you just reluctantly cancel it. You think that you will install the update later but miss it.
One simple mistake like this can let the door open to your personal information. Most updates take up to two minutes, which you can afford to protect your privacy.
Most hackers use these bugs to breakthrough your system.
You might turn on the auto-update so that any application automatically updates when a new version is available.
Disable Lock-Screen Notification
Protecting your data does not require you to have technical knowledge and skills. A few simple steps are enough. Turning off lock-screen notifications is one of them.
You may have noticed that many applications allow lock-screen notifications on your mobile that are visible to anybody present around your phone.
However, you can quickly turn off lock-screen notifications to block any private message from popping up on your screen.
Follow these steps to disable lock-screen notifications on iOS:
- Go to Settings.
- Open Notifications.
- Select an application to turn off its notifications.
- A preview will pop up with two options, ‘When Unlocked’ and ‘Never.’
- Choose the option according to your preference.
For Android, go to Settings > Security > Lock Screen> Notifications. Select the application to disable its notifications.
Use Safe Applications
There are several applications for every purpose. Some of them have more glitches and vulnerabilities than others.
While some apps are meant to expose your private information, but how can you recognize them? A quick Google search is the solution.
Experts suggest adding the phrase ‘Scam’ or ‘data scandal’ with the name of the application to find out if its designer has any history of data or privacy leakage.
Google search will also help you to find out if the company has been a victim of a data breach in the past. And if they have, what actions did the company take to resolve that issue.
If there are several occasions of data breaching with an application and its owners did not make any effort to address the problem, you know that this application is not safe for you.
You can easily find alternatives for any application. So we recommend you do some thorough research before installing any application.
For example, using online screen recorders and shooters can publicize your data. So, it is better to use an offline recorder like Movavi.
Experts suggest downloading applications from official stores like the App Store or Google Play Store.
Always Use VPN on Public Wi-Fi
You are exposed to the greatest threat while using any public Wi-Fi network. Using mobile data is a safer option.
But if you must connect to public Wi-Fi, remember to use a virtual private network (VPN). If your organization requires a stronger and more advanced security solution, you need to consider using VPN alternatives. Although VPNs can handle internal access, relying on a basic VPN connection for third parties can expose a business network to more vulnerabilities, like hackers exploiting third-party connections or shared passwords.
A VPN, for instance, acts as a shield to protect your confidential information from being accessed by another user on that network.
Apart from that, a VPN masks the data transmissions that allow you to access a broader range of content across the internet by avoiding censorship and filters.
A VPN helps to become virtually invisible to others on the same network.
As we already recommended, research the VPN software before installing it on your device. You shall do it for all the applications, but the process is only more significant for VPNs.
You need to read the service agreement carefully before installing a VPN or any other software so you know which data it will access and store.
Encrypt Your Data
Encryption is used to mask and scramble your data so that no one can read it without a key. That means even if someone gains access to your data, they will not be able to understand or misuse it.
Besides protecting the information on your computer, data encryption also ensures that your text messages and emails are safe from prying eyes.
Only use applications for messaging that use end-to-end encryption. If you are using a productivity app, check if it allows you to set passwords for each document and choose the type of encryption.
In case you must use an application that does not feature data encryption, you may use an external Encrypting File System (EFS). This will allow you to encrypt any folders, files, flash drives, removable USB drives, and more.
Identity theft or data invasion can occur under your nose without you noticing it. Unauthorized access to your private information can cause great trouble for you.
Protecting your data from invasion is not a difficult task. You can save your data and personal information by following the simple steps that are discussed above. Be careful and stay safe from data leakage.