The rapidly evolving digital era has led to a significant upsurge in concerns around digital privacy – organizational as well as personal data have become more vulnerable than ever. Today, data is considered as the most pivotal asset of any Indian business, hence great efforts are being made to protect it. As data grows rapidly and spreads across multiple platforms data privacy is becoming increasingly important to understand. Furthermore, with hybrid IT continuing to be the norm, data maintenance, privacy and security have become even more difficult and important.
On this Data Privacy Day, I would encourage every individual and organisation to follow these tips and tricks for keeping organisational and personal data safe online.
Tip #1: Be skeptical. If a deal or offer seems too good to be true, it likely is. Don’t give your personal or professional information to a company you’ve never heard of before simply because you can get the gaming system you’ve been eyeing for 80% off any other store’s price. Chances are – you won’t be receiving the gaming system at the end of your transaction, but that supposed company will be getting your credit card information.
Tip #2: Slow down. Mindfulness is great for your mental and online health. By slowing down and breaking the sometimes mindless scrolling habit that so many of us have, we can make decisions with a focused mind and not fall for the tricks of social engineers who rely on us being distracted, having an emotional response to the things we see online and chasing those small doses of dopamine we get when interacting with others online. Skip the mindless scrolling and stay ahead of the cyber criminals trying to trick you.
Tip #3: Keep your private information, private. The internet, especially social media, has allowed us to share information with the masses in an instant, which removes the time to think through our actions thoroughly. If it’s not something you want showing up on a billboard as you’re driving down the road, keep it off the information superhighway. Even the best privacy settings aren’t foolproof and there is a reason that we say nothing really goes away online. Unless you want a random guy from halfway around the world using your bank account for his online gambling addiction, don’t share your mother’s maiden name or your high school’s mascot when you see one of those “my fictional character name is” games.
And a bonus tip! If you can connect it, protect it. In today’s world where everything from our thermostats to our coffee makers are connected online or controlled through an app, it’s important to remember that with that convenience also comes the opportunity for attackers to hijack our sessions. Be sure you are using strong passwords, opt for multi-factor authentication if given the choice, avoid unprotected WiFi networks and leverage anti-malware software if the device allows for it.
Hope these tips are helpful. Stay secure!
(The author is Mr. Sandeep Bhambure, Vice President -India & SAARC, Veeam Software and the views expressed in this article are his own)