Data protection starts with prepared employees.
Protecting valuable data starts with the human factor. While it is impossible to completely mitigate the risk of human error, there are several steps you can take to ensure that your personal information stays protected. When it comes to data protection, it is important to remember that the impact of just one data breach incident on one employee, whether on their home network or in the office, can have far reaching negative consequences for an entire company . Data breaches weaken networks and open companies up to a wide of array of additional attacks, depending on which information was stolen. Read on to learn four best practices for keeping data secure.
Data Protection Best Practice #1: Ensure that your networks are secure at all times. You should avoid utilizing public Wi-Fi networks to access sensitive information, such as financial accounts. You should also ensure that your home WiFi network is password protected and named after general information- never utilize personally identifiable information (PII) to name networks or severs. Additionally, while antivirus software is only about 50% effective, it is still essential to have it installed along with a firewall to help prevent hackers from obtaining personally identifiable information on your hard drive. However, traditional anti-virus software isn’t the only option available anymore- there is a new solution that halts threats in real time by utilizing math and machine learning capabilities. Learn more here.
Data Protection Best Practice #2: Keep Passwords Updated. You should make a point to recreate passwords every few months. Passwords should always be at least eight characters long and utilize an array of upper and lower case letters, numbers and characters.
Data Protection Best Practice #3: Reduce Access to Personal Information. Never share personal information, such as social security numbers, bank account information or network login information, through email or the phone. Phishing is a technique utilized by criminals to solicit personal data by sending what appears to be a legitimate email request from a recognized source, such as a company IT department, bank or social networking website. If you receive a suspicious email, always check with the source first to confirm that the communication is legitimate.
Data Protection Best Practice #4: Safeguard Social Media Activity. Many financial services firms have made the decision to block social media access. However, employees can likely still access to social media at home or through a mobile device. Follow these best practice steps to prevent theft of personal data:
Avoid posting last names or other identifying information
Never download music or files from peer to peer networking sites
Limit posting photos and videos to the general public
Never post travel itineraries or information regarding your whereabouts
Do not post information with geo-location and date labeling
If possible, employ dual-factor authentication for your social media accounts