Industry Highlight: June 2022

Tips To Protect Your Personal Data

By Robert Henry

Why are fingerprints captured for any public position you accept? An FBI and BCI background check has become a commonplace measure taken before a person is accepted for a position. The reason is that no two sets of fingerprints are the same and, therefore, one can be nearly accurate that the person connected to those fingerprints is the person being checked against a bank of nefarious characters. The same can be said for the retina. A retina scan can assure that you are dealing with the correct individual.

With this truth being said and understood, one can easily grasp the importance of using your fingerprints and or retina to set up protections for your personal information. Reports indicate that there have been almost 13.5 billion data records lost since 2013 and only 4% of those were reported to have been protected.

Identity theft is on the rise, and it is now more important than ever to have identity theft protection for each of your points of data production. These services will offer multi-layer protection for your personal information and identity. Take credit monitoring, for example, it will alert you to instances when your information is used, and help you recover any losses by being insured of up to one million dollars.

To hackers, your name, address, age, social security number, credit card number, and account logins, among other data, is powerful information they are constantly seeking – because it uniquely identifies you and opens a virtual store of potential to them. Businesses and organizations regard user data as strictly confidential for exceptionally good reasons and go to great lengths to safeguard it from prying eyes. Therefore, anything you can do to add more protection will enhance your data safety.

Starting with the fundamentals, it is essential to create secure, strong, varied passwords to keep your accounts safe. The addition of dual validation procedures on your financial accounts presents hackers with nearly impenetrable doors to your credit cards. Protecting yourself with a reputable antivirus and malware suite across all your devices, coupled with frequent backups of your files (to the cloud or storage devices) is also a high priority. Take this all a step further with the use of a VPN (virtual private network). Using a VPN encrypts your internet connection so your data cannot be accessed or worse sold. We also recommend turning off the Wi-Fi auto-connect feature on your cellphone. Connecting to public Wi-Fi is the perfect opportunity for hackers to infiltrate your data because it is mostly unsecured and open to everyone.

While this is not always an issue during general surfing of the internet, you should never make transactions on an unsecured ‘http’ shopping page. When online, always look for the letters - ‘https’ – in the URL as this indicates that the site you are on is encrypted. Additionally, it is best to not share sensitive identifiable information online, such as photos on social media while on vacation or even announcements of a planned vacation.

Here at The Computer Workshop, we have a team of professional security-minded individuals who keep abreast of the latest in cyber security. The Computer Workshop offers courses designed to help individuals and organizations obtain the necessary knowledge and skills to protect their information assets. From 4 hours to 2-days we have courses that fit your schedule and, depending on your level of expertise, there are also courses that lead to certification.

Do not let the evil that lurks in the darkness of cyberspace cripple you. Know that there are answers for your security at every level. You just need to shine a tiny light on your own situation and The Computer Workshop has just the lamp you need.