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With the whole becoming online today, the need for protecting our data and privacy is much more relevant than ever before.
From your most cherished photos, your personal details, and your address to all your work documents can be found with a simple click of a button online.
But what happens if someone you do not want to share this information with has access to this data?
In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss what data privacy is and how you can protect yourself from any data breaches.
What is Data Privacy?
It is the right of any person who has any data present online to control how this data is collected, used, or shared by websites or organizations.
So, why is data privacy so important?
People need to be assured that that any data they share online will be protected safe and not misused or shared with any other third party they do not feel comfortable sharing this data with.
Understanding the Difference Between Cybersecurity and Data Privacy
While these two can oftentimes be confused with one another, they are completely different concepts.
Cybersecurity deals with the protection of data like unauthorized access, theft, or damage caused by data leaks.
And, Data Privacy allows users to control what their data can be used for or what kind of data they want to share with businesses and organizations.
DID YOU KNOW?
63% of consumers worldwide think companies aren’t honest about how they use their personal information, and nearly 48% have stopped purchasing from companies because of privacy worries.
Common Online Threats: How Do You Recognize Them?
The world of digital space is filled with many hidden dangers and each one is unique and with its own modus operandi.
For example, phishing scams attempt to trick unsuspecting and innocent users into revealing their personal or financial information through deceptive emails or messages.
While malware and malicious software are designed to harm or disrupt systems.
They can infect devices through infected websites or attachments.
And finally, the most dangerous of the bunch are the Data Breaches.
They can be pretty devastating for organizations and individuals alike.
For example, SONY suffered a data breach in their servers that exposed more than 6,800 people’s personal and financial data on the dark web.
Protecting Your Data: Practical Methods for a Better Security
Backup Your Data
You can shield yourself from any major data loss by creating a backup of all your important photos, documents, and files.
Well, there are two ways that you can backup your files.
The first one is the offline and physical backup.
You can simply copy all the data that you want to protect onto an SSD or USB drive and store them somewhere safe.
This way you can be assured that your data is safe even if you lose your device or your account gets hacked.
The second is the cloud storage option.
You can save your files and images on secure cloud storage spaces like Google Drive or Dropbox.
These cloud solutions offer very secure and stable storage.
This means that your data will be protected and you can even access your files even if you lose your device.
Plus, creating a backup routine is not very complex either.
Once you have the file on your device, these apps can easily synchronize and upload your files to the cloud automatically.
Data Encryption and Cloaking
Backups aside, you can also protect your files and data by encrypting all the files in your device or drive.
Lucky for you, both Windows (BitLocker) and macOS (FileVault) ship with built-in encryption software that can help you with the process.
You can check this step-by-step guide to walk you through the process.
Plus, you also have the option to encrypt the files or folders containing sensitive information individually.
Many third-party encryption tools like VeraCrypt have a very beginner-friendly UI that even someone without technical knowledge can use to encrypt their files.
Mastering Password Security
Protecting your files and data with passwords is one of the most common ways to make sure that your data is safe.
You need to create strong and unique passwords for all your online accounts.
Avoid using passwords that are easily guessable.
For example, yourname123 is a very easy password that many people use.
You have to create a password that is unique and does not contain only random characters, it must also contain at least 1 Uppercase character, some special characters, and some numbers to make the password very strong.
An example of a very strong password is N@m3Y0uRpa55w0rd.
Note: This password above is used as an example only. Do not use it as your password.
Plus, you need to create different passwords for different accounts.
If one account’s password is hacked or leaked, you can rest assured that your other accounts are safe.
Also, if remembering or creating new passwords is hard for you, online password management tools like LastPass and 1Password can be of great help.
These tools allow users to store passwords for different accounts in the same space. You can also generate random passwords through their generator to create unique passwords for each of your accounts.
Decoding the Signs of Data Corruption
A slow system performance, unexpected crashes, and unknown error messages may be an indicator of a bigger issue.
You need to thoroughly check through all your files and folders to see if your data is secure and not in any way damaged or corrupted.
If it is there may have been a virus attack or there may have been an attempt to fetch that data by someone who is not you.
Just like car interior cleaning services are needed to clean up the vehicle, your storage drive needs a cleanup too.
You need to check your drives and folders regularly to check for any signs of corruption or damage and delete or replace those files promptly.
Also, delete any unnecessary or old files that may just have been sitting there for a long time.
They may contain old unused data, but for an experienced hacker, it is a treasure trove of data to get into your brain.
This makes it easy for them to guess your current passwords based on your past data and patterns.
So, now you know why protecting your data in this online world is so important and how you can protect it from this comprehensive guide.
Also, if you want to get updated on the latest data security trends, you can visit reputable sites like the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and get insights into data backup and recovery best practices from sources like TechCrunch.