Four Simple Tips for Protecting Your Data
March 9, 2020
The internet and its connectivity provide great advantages, and pose a new dilemma. Information security and data management are realities that individuals and businesses cannot escape. In this second of four articles, we share some tips and tricks for preventing your private data from being hacked while you browse the web.
1. Encrypt Your Data
Data encryption may seem complex, but there are tools, such as in Microsoft 365, that make it easier to encrypt your emails and documents, providing authenticity and proving their validity. How exactly does it do this?
Simply stated, encryption (of an email, for example) enables you to apply unique protection to a message. To obtain the key that will open this message, the recipient must be authenticated, by their email, for example. Why put such a procedure in place?
When you send an email, it can be intercepted en route. The interceptor can then modify the email as they wish before sending it to the final recipient. With Microsoft 365 one-click encryption, the interceptor will not be authenticated to obtain the unique key and will thus be unable to modify the email. This is why encryption protects the content of the message and authenticates both the recipient and the sender of the message.
2. Manage Extensions and Apps
A browser extension is a small software module for customizing a web browser. Browsers typically allow a variety of extensions, including user interface modifications, ad blocking, and cookie management. Although web applications and extensions may appear perfectly innocent, they often hide a dark side.
Applications on your phone, just like extensions in your web browser, can be used for malicious purposes. They can, for example, copy your passwords or publish on social media in your name without your consent. To avoid any problems, consider removing all the extensions and applications that you are not using, and validate the sources and certifications before downloading these applications.
3. Choose a Separate Password per Account
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) believes that it is useless to renew your passwords on a regular basis and instead suggests using a strong, separate password for each account. According to the NCSC, the public often chooses a password that is “weaker” than the old one in order to remember it. Risks include writing down or re-using the password for several accounts.
Using a separate password for each account is an excellent way to control repercussions in the event of a security breach. If one account is compromised, the others remain secure. However, using a separate password per application can be very difficult to manage, which is why we suggest that you use password management software as seen in the first article of this series: Four Security Tips to Keep You Safe Online.
4. Increase the Strength of Your Passwords
We often forget, but even with all possible protection, if a password is too simple, it can be decrypted, compromising the security of your devices and data. Make sure your passwords follow best security practices. In particular, make sure that your passwords are not based on a word from the dictionary, and that they are at least 15 characters in length, and include letters, numbers, special characters, and invisible characters. An invisible character is an accent without letters, for example (^`¸).
Given the impact that data loss can have, there is no doubt that IT security must be a priority. For more information about protecting your data, read on! The third article in this series is Protecting Your Information on the Internet. You can also contact our IT security experts at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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