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5 Tips for Protecting Personal Data

October 15, 2012

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secureThe variety of devices people use to connect to the Internet continues grow at an astounding rate.  While this is incredibly convenient for users, it also increases the risk of losing personal data.  A solid Internet security strategy addresses multiple ways personal data can be compromised.

Be Security Conscious When Connected to the Internet

The most obvious step in an Internet security plan is to be security-conscious whenever connected to the Internet.  There are a growing number of Internet security best practices which should be adopted by everyone.  This includes simple actions such as utilizing the auto update feature provided by software, avoiding untrustworthy websites, blocking pop-up windows, and preventing malicious software from being downloaded.

Use Strong Passwords

It doesn’t matter how good an Internet security strategy is if it is solely focused on the user’s device.  Every website is a potential target of hackers.  Using strong passwords is an essential step to protect all personal data which can be found online.  It should be a minimum of eight letters and include a number or special character.  The best Internet security practice is to use different passwords for every online account and to change them every few months.

Take Advantage of Encryption Technologies

Another common weakness in Internet security strategies is the data transfer.  Every time someone connects to a website, data is sent and received from the website’s server.  During transmission, this data is at risk of being seen by third parties.  Taking advantage of encryption technologies ensures this data is not at risk.  This is particularly important whenever logging into an account or processing an online transaction.

 Regularly Back Up Personal Data

There are a variety of Internet security risks which could cause personal data to be erased or stolen from the user’s device.  Some Internet security threats are not trying to steal personal data but rather destroy it.  By regularly backing up personal data, a damaged device can quickly be restored to its previous form – this includes all of the personal data which was stored.

Don’t Assume Personal Data Disappears

One of the biggest mistakes is not disposing of personal data properly.  All electronic media should be erased and disposed of correctly in order to eliminate the risk of accidentally exposing sensitive personal information.  There are a variety of methods and technologies which can be used to sanitize and dispose of electronic media.  Practices which may be included in the Internet security strategy range from wiping the hard drive to shredding CDs.

An Internet security strategy which aims to protect personal data involves much more than the Internet.  A comprehensive plan identifies and addresses all of the points where personal data can be stolen or destroyed.  By employing smart online browsing practices, strong passwords, encryption technologies like using a VPN for iPad, backing up personal information, and sanitizing devices before disposal the most common points of weakness are all effectively addressed.

About the Author:

This article is written by Gloria Philips.


About the author

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