Tips for Protecting your Online Privacy

Maintaining your privacy while using the Internet is an essential way to stop your business from falling victim to cyber crime. If you do not take the necessary steps to safeguard any personal data, you run the risk of your network being hacked and sensitive information relating to you and your business being compromised. As a business, this means potentially losing the trust of your customers, and being unable to recover important information.

Everyone is at risk of having their privacy breached online, from individuals to huge corporations. Approximately 90% of data breaches in the UK in 2019 were attributed to human error, so the importance of protecting your online privacy should not be underestimated. Thankfully, there are a number of precautionary measures you can take to minimise the risk of having your business’ sensitive data leaked or infiltrated.

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Data Security” (CC BY 2.0) by Visual Content

Know Who Has Access to Your Data

Modern technology has made it so that accessing and sharing information has never been easier. While this has many benefits, it also increases the risk that your important data will fall into the wrong hands.

You really can’t protect sensitive information if you don’t know exactly who has access to it. If employees use smartphones, tablets, or personal laptops in the workplace, it’s vital that they adhere to security regulations. Consider having employees install software on their personal devices that will prevent them from sharing your business’ data, whether accidentally or deliberately.

Implement Data Encryption

This is one of the most secure ways of making sure that cyber criminals and hackers have absolutely no way of gaining access to your business’ sensitive data. The process involves converting your data into encoded ciphertext, which means that anyone without the encryption key will be unable to access it. By doing this, you ensure that sensitive information is only accessible to authorised users.

Data encryption is often relatively inexpensive to implement and is a good way to add a further barrier to data that may be accessed by employees outside of work, or on their personal devices.

Keep Your Employees Informed

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Likewise, a business’ sensitive data is only protected if all employees are trained and informed about the risks of a data breach. How you do this is up to you, but it can be useful to hold staff training sessions and/or meetings, as often as is needed to keep everyone updated on all the risks.

Employees need to know a few key measures they must take to protect company data:

  • Create strong passwords that won’t be guessed by others, and change them frequently.
  • Never use open wifi (such as on public transport) when accessing sensitive data.
  • Don’t open suspicious links in emails and be aware of impersonation.
  • Get rid of files you don’t need anymore.

If your employees are knowledgeable about these preventative measures, your business’s risk of a data breach reduces significantly.

Back Up Your Data

If your business experiences a security breach, having your sensitive data accessed is not the only risk you face – you might also end up having vital information corrupted or lost, never to be accessed again.

For this reason, frequently backing up your data is absolutely vital for the cyber security of your business. The most effective way to do this is to set up a system that automatically backs up your data at multiple points each day so, if it does get corrupted, you lose as little as possible.

Install a VPN

While all of the above measures go a long way to enhance cyber security within your business, implementing software to protect your data is by far one of the most effective options.

A VPN (virtual private network) works by disguising your IP address and making it impossible to track your location. Businesses can assign one VPN to the whole employee network so that all information is transmitted through a “tunnel” of sorts; even if cyber criminals do manage to intercept your traffic, the private network means they can’t access any of your data.

Downloading a VPN for PC is quick, easy, and often pretty cheap. By using it to create your own private network, your business will enhance its cybersecurity while making data available to remote workers, as certain VPNs, such as Surf Shark, can be downloaded onto any platform.

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n2n P2P VPN” (CC BY 2.0) by xmodulo

Overall, cyber crime is one of the biggest problems that businesses face today. Indeed, having your personal information compromised is enough to make or break a business, whether that’s through loss of revenue or a breach in customer trust.

Luckily, it’s relatively easy to protect your online privacy and ensure that your business’ data is securely safeguarded. By following the above tips you will remove much of the human error that often causes security breaches, as well as protect your devices.