Digitalization has accelerated and led to an increase in the amount of sensitive information online. Here we offer ways to protect your personal data.
Websites and social media are constantly collecting different types of information from users, storing it and then selling it to other companies. And sometimes they use the data for purposes that may even be against the user themselves. Many people don’t hesitate to provide personal information without realizing the consequences of using it.
Protect Personal Data – Types of Personal Data
Websites collect personal data. Getting all of this information is now very easy. This is often what leads to misuse of this information and problems for the users themselves. However, this is not always the case. A cybersecurity expert Adam Teras says:
“Mitte kõik saidid ei soovi kogutud andmeid kasutada ebaseaduslike teenuste jaoks. Usaldusväärsed platvormid, nagu tonybet.com või Netflix, võimaldavad oma kasutajatel end turvaliselt tunda, kuigi nad nõuavad oma teenuste osutamiseks pangakonto teavet.”
Biometrics: fingerprints, face, voice and retina analysis, DNA analysis, blood type, height, eye color, weight, etc. are the main identifiers of a person and allow access to their most private information. There are many cases where hackers have used biometric data.
For example, in 2016, at the International Hacking Congress, Jan Krissler told how he forged the fingerprints of German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen from several photos.
Protect Personal Data – Storing Personal Information
Hackers can always get the information they need. So, the basic rule today when interacting with the Internet is data encryption.
It is not only your personal data that should be protected. If you run a business, it is likely that you collect data from your customers. So, you should ensure that company and user data is secure. Without strong security, information can be stolen, compromised, or distorted for the benefit of competitors.
The two main places to store data are the cloud and data centers. The cloud is the virtual storage of data on servers on the network. Data centers are rooms with IT infrastructure, where the server equipment is located. The most popular storage today is the “public cloud” – a cloud service, which is provided to several customers simultaneously. By renting a public cloud, you place data on the provider’s server and share the space with other companies.
There are several ways to optimize your operations and security settings. Connect only to trusted Wi-Fi networks and use a VPN in public places, cafes, hotels, and so on. Connect via a secure HTTPS protocol. Change passwords and keep your software and OS updated.
If you receive links by email, never open them, especially from unknown sources, and never open attachments that you don’t expect.
Protect Personal Data – Protecting Your Finances
It’s not only personal data related to a person’s information that is stolen. Banking hacks are becoming more frequent, and the methods are getting more sophisticated. Avoid providing your card details to anyone, and never put its photos on the network. Enter your card details only on secure sites of trusted companies. A secure connection is easy to recognize by the closed padlock icon and the address that begins with “https://”.
Use only complex passwords for your email and personal accounts on websites. Passwords like 12345 or Password won’t protect you. All passwords should be different, long, with upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. Just like card details, passwords should be kept secret.
Protect Personal Data – Cyberattacks
A cyberattack is a conscious attempt by a person or organization to penetrate the information system of another person or organization. Most often, a hacker is seeking financial gain by committing a cyberattack.
There are three main purposes of cyber attacks. The first is APT (advanced persistent threat). Attackers are interested in a particular organization or company. Usually such hacks are well-planned and involve several stages, from reconnaissance and infiltration to destroying traces of presence.
The second is attacks on DNS servers. DNS attacks put the user at risk of not getting to the right page, and when entering the site address the attacked DNS will redirect the request to a fake page. Hackers may also gain access to personal information as a result of a user connecting to a fake IP address. The user will not suspect that their information has been compromised.
There are CDN Content Delivery Networks. CDNs store static content in a cache of their own servers and place it “closer” to users around the world, allowing faster access. CDNs are not equipped with full protection against DDoS attacks and can protect data stored within the networks themselves.