Identity theft cost U.S. consumers over $52 billion in 2021 according to Javelin Strategy & Research’s Identity Fraud Study 2022 report. As the data economy continues to expand, businesses and individuals face an ever-increasing risk of cybercrime. Unfortunately, many are unaware of what personal data is at risk or where it resides. That’s why it’s important to understand how to keep personal data private and how Zero Trust can help protect against possible security breaches.
What Personal Data is at Risk?
1) Identity Data
In the world of cybercrime, identity data is some of the most valuable information. Identity theft includes stealing a person’s name, address, Social Security number, credit card number, and other financial details. It also extends to online accounts such as social media profiles or even email access.
2) Extra-Sensitive Data
This type of data is commonly used in medical and financial records. Examples of extra-sensitive data include health insurance information, bank accounts, tax returns, and driver’s license numbers. This type of data is often targeted for identity theft or fraud.
Where Does This Data Reside?
Personal data can reside anywhere from a physical filing cabinet to an online server. Businesses and individuals store data in a variety of locations, including on personal devices, paper documents, cloud storage services, or even social media accounts. It’s important to be aware of where your personal data is stored so you can make sure it is secure.
How to Keep This Data Private?
1. Use Strong Passwords and Two-Factor Authentication
Make sure to use a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols in your passwords. Enable two-factor authentication if it is available on the service you are using so that even if your password is stolen, the hacker won’t have access to your account.
2. Install Security Software
Make sure to install up-to-date antivirus and malware protection on your computer, smartphone, and other devices.
3. Use Secure Wi-Fi Networks
When using public Wi-Fi, make sure to connect to a secure network. Avoid logging into sensitive accounts while connected to public Wi-Fi since they can be easily hacked.
4. Beware of Phishing Emails
Be cautious when opening emails from unknown senders. Phishing attacks can be disguised as legitimate emails that contain malicious links or attachments.
5. Don’t Overshare on Social Media
Be careful about what you share on social media. Do not post your full name, address, phone number, or other personal information online.
6. Backup Your Data
Make sure to back up important documents, photos, and other files in case of a cyberattack or hardware failure.
7. Dispose of Devices Securely
Don’t leave old phones, computers, or other devices containing personal data lying around where they can be accessed by unwanted parties. Use a secure data-wiping service to erase all the data from the device before disposing of it.
8. Monitor Your Credit Report
Keep an eye on any changes to your credit report and notify your financial institution immediately if you notice something suspicious.
9. Be Aware of Privacy Policies
Read through company privacy policies when signing up for services or giving out personal information. Ensure that the company is taking appropriate measures to protect your data.
10. Use Encryption
Whenever possible, use encrypted messaging services and other secure communication methods to protect sensitive conversations from being intercepted by hackers.
Data privacy is of paramount importance in today’s digital age. To ensure that your data is kept safe and secure, it is important to take the necessary steps to protect your information. Following the tips outlined above and using a security protocol such as multi-factor authentication can help you keep your data private and secure.