Today marks Data Privacy Day all across the globe. It is a day when people everywhere are reminded of the importance of keeping personal information safe online. After the attacks on Sony, JP Morgan, and Staples, and many other large corporations and with the rampant use of stolen payment credentials, data privacy is now more important than ever. And it can only get worse as more and more everyday items are being connected to the internet.
Individuals and businesses need every data protection reminder they can get. Thankfully, security is starting to keep up with the ever-changing technology. According to USA Today, Michael Kaiser, director of the National Cyber Security Alliance, said the future of cyber security is right around the corner.
“There’s a ton of stuff coming, it will address fundamental, ecosystem-wide flaws in the system,” said Kaiser.
The future protection tools may include software or gadgets that know if it’s really the right person logging in to a device.
While online tools and gadgets are important, they will never take the place of personal responsibility and staying smart online. There are countless ways an identity can be stolen. This can be a headache for consumers. However, a worse headache would be when all of your bank accounts are drained by hackers. Here are catmandu’s best tips for protecting your identity and your data:
- Don’t put anything you wouldn’t want seen online. This includes watching what you write in private emails and messages, in a Google Doc, anywhere. Think about the embarrassing Sony Executives’ emails.
- Don’t use the same email or pin number for every account. If one gets hacked, they all get hacked.
- Turn on two-step verification for any account that allows it.
- Be wary of ALL emails, especially those with attachments, and NEVER give out login credentials or credit card numbers via email no matter who is asking.
- Unfortunately, you have to think before clicking any link online. Install a free antivirus like Avast, which will place a handy green checkmark beside links that are okay to click.
- On your phone, always require a passcode. It takes no technical skill whatsoever for someone who finds your lost phone to steal valuable information. Also, install an app that allows you to access your phone remotely and erase its content if necessary.
- When connecting to Wi-Fi, be sure that your home connection requires a password. When using a public connection, don’t engage in transactions you want to keep private like online shopping or accessing your bank account.
- Protect yourself with a good firewall and security software. This is the cornerstone of stopping hackers from gaining access to your devices. The slogan of Data Privacy Day says it best: “Stop. Think. Connect.”