A Resolution for 2014: Protect your Data

by Matt Klassen on January 9, 2014

While I wonder how many of us have already abandoned our New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, reduce our reliance on digital media, reconnect with friend and family or what have you, I have to think that resolving to be more secure with your personal information in 2014 is one resolution that might be worth making…and keeping.

During the 2013 calendar year we watched as one privacy scandal after another broke on the news, with the public at large discovering that not only is their data not safe from cyber-criminals and hackers, its not safe from their own governments either. While we often clamour for more protection, more security, and more respect from the websites we deal with, I hope by now most of us have realized that ultimately the onus from protecting our personal data falls to us.

The problem, of course, is that with the deluge of depressing reports about data breeches, data loss, and security vulnerabilities it often seems like we’re powerless to protect ourselves, but as we move into the New Year here are a few simple reminders for how to make your 2014 more safe and secure.

It should come as no surprise that at the top of the list for how to keep yourself safe is the reminder to change your online passwords regularly. “To ensure your personal information online is secure, it’s a good practice to regularly change your password,” JD Sherry, vice president of technology and solutions at Trend Micro, told TechNewsWorld. “With cyberattacks becoming more prevalent, hackers can more easily gain your password and the information within your personal emails, messages and social media.”

Now only that, but don’t use the same password for multiple accounts, don’t allow one stolen piece of personal information to be the key to your entire kingdom. But with our digital lifestyle requires so many passwords how can we expect to remember several dozen, if not several hundred, different codes? The answer, find a trusted Password Manager, a program that will do all that remembering for you.

Further, be cloud aware. Simply put, as more and more of our information is being stored in the cloud there is an increasingly chance of data loss that could result in exposing your personal information. It would be wise to pay particular attention to what you’re connecting to your bank account and where it’s being connected. “Remember, the cloud is just someone else’s computer — not a magical place where no bad things can happen,” security analyst Graham Cluley told TechNewsWorld.”

Simply put, be skeptical about who you give your personal information too. It often takes little more than a few minutes to research a company enough to see if other’s have had information security issues. It something doesn’t seem right about a website or the information it’s asking more, don’t continue. In that same vein, be aware of your mobile applications, as those sneaky little programs can be used for all sorts of nefarious ends. If you find it strange that an app is asking permission to access unnecessary personal information on your phone, don’t download it!

In the end the golden rule of data protection is do it yourself. As we saw in 2013, we simply can’t trust companies to protect our data for us, meaning we can ill afford to play fast and loose with our personal information. Further, if you don’t make it easy for hackers to steal your information, its unlikely they’ll stick around long enough to try again.

Did you like this post ? TheTelecomBlog.com publishes daily news, editorial, thoughts, and controversial opinion – you can subscribe by: RSS (click here), or email (click here).

Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: