In 2020, there was a total of 1,001 data breaches recorded in the United States. That number is increasing in 2021, as remote work puts organizations in vulnerable positions with their data privacy and security.
Taking control and improving your online security is one of the smartest protective measures you can take.
Here are our top 10 tips to keep your data safe:
1: Use a reliable browser
Not all browsers are equal. That is why we recommend Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Safari to protect your online security. Mozilla Firefox, for example, allows its users to browse without a trace as it automatically erases your online data like passwords, cookies, and history from your computer. Firefox Private Browsing is another security feature that has tracking protection to block any hidden trackers including those on advertisements.
2: INSTALL AD BLOCKER
Advertisements online should carry a caveat as many are hiding portals to compromise your internet security and lead you to unsafe sites. The good news is that installing ‘AdBlock’ for free blocks those intrusive advertisements without monitoring your browser. You can also whitelist at your preference sites that require advertisements to function, for example, The Telegraph newspaper.
3: CREATE FRESH PASSWORDS
Using “123456”, “123456789” or “qwerty” as your password? You may want to reconsider as these are top three most common passwords of breached account. Worryingly, the “password” is the 8th. You can improve your online security by using a variety of characters; uppercase, lowercase, and special characters as well as avoiding plain dictionary terms. Keeper, specialists in secure password management can generate strong passwords for individuals and businesses in seconds for impenetrable security.
4: MANAGE YOUR PASSWORDS ONLINE
Dashlane can be used to store your configured and secure passwords. It is easy to use, you simply download the application here for free. You just need to create a strong master password and then add your passwords and personal information into your password manager. Dashlane increases productivity by auto-filling your passwords, personal information, and payment information into form fields. For added online security on a mobile device, you can add a fingerprint sign-in. The software will also alert you to security breaches so you can change passwords easily.
5: AVOID PUBLIC WI-FI NETWORKS
Scrolling through your newsfeed at Starbucks using the coffee chain’s free Wi-Fi may be tempting but you should know that from the moment you connect to a public network you are at risk. But why? The Federal Trade Commission explains it best, “Most Wi-Fi hotspots don’t encrypt the information you send over the internet and aren’t secure”. Public networks are simply best avoided. Instead, use a VPN or Virtual Private Network which allows you to create a secure connection to another network over the Internet.
6: install updates regularly
Updates are necessary but how many times have you avoided them because of their inconvenience? Microsoft, advise ‘to turn on automatic updates so that you cannot miss ‘critical fixes’ which could affect your online security. Similarly, for Apple customers updates are recommended to keep your PC in optimal condition.
7: BEWARE OF PHISHING
You can vastly improve your online security by understanding and reacting safely to phishing attempts. Phishing is essentially the art of trying to steal sensitive personal information by directing you to an external website which will then save the information you enter and make it available to hackers online. Phishing links are commonly sent in emails. Be suspicious of embedded links, strange email addresses that do not correspond to the signature within the email itself, promising offers in return for nothing, and of course anything that requires you to share personal details with someone. If in doubt add the email to your spam folder.
8: use HTTPS
To determine if a website is encrypted, look for HTTPS at the start of the web address (the “s” is for secure). Some websites use encryption only on the sign-in page, but if any part of your session isn’t encrypted, your entire account could be vulnerable. Improve your online security by browsing online with HTTPS on every page, not just when you sign in.
9: Security training
One of the most efficient protections you can do to improve your online security is to invest in training whether it is for yourself or for employees in your business. Implementing changes to policy will be void if basic cybersecurity principles are ignored by employees. Encourage training that starts with the basic principles (like the aforementioned) and then involves security briefings and mock cyber-attacks to better ready your staff.
10: CONSIDER DILITRUST DATA ROOM
Information security for DiliTrust is our number one priority. DiliTrust’s Data Room is an online document-sharing space that organizes and secures all your confidential documents. The software offers optimal traceability of confidential information and is adapted to all types of secure exchanges: mergers & acquisitions, private equity, out-licensing of intellectual property, industrial project financing, and restructuring.