We are living in a digital era where everything is just a click away. As we get addicted to the convenience and comforts of the instant world, online personal data security remains a matter of concern. Amidst all the technological developments and faster networks, the ability to keep your sensitive information secure is of utmost importance. Hackers and cybercriminals are the big threats to data security who manage to figure out smarter ways of breaching privacy settings and misusing available data.
Whether it is shopping, applying for a loan or filing an insurance claim, you need to share your sensitive details online. The more you use your details online, the greater are the chances of some data being stolen. So, does it mean blocking yourself from online activities or transactions?
Certainly not, instead be cautious and develop the right online habits to keep yourself safe from risks of data breaches.
Ways to ensure personal data safety
- Secure your accounts
If you are having multiple online accounts, keep different and complex passwords for each. You can try a password manager that will help you generate and manage passwords. Additionally, opt for two-step authentication wherever possible. As the name suggests it asks you to enter a password and a number code that only you can access. Check your settings to ensure it is enabled in all your online accounts.
- Safeguard your web browsing
Every website or social network you browse collects a lot of information about you including your location, browsing habits and more. This makes you vulnerable to online data threats. Installing browser extensions that block unwanted ads and prevent malware from running in your browser can reduce the data breach risks to some extent.
Also, browsing secure websites with HTTPS makes it more difficult for attackers (especially on public Wi-Fi at the airport, cafe, or hotel) to digitally eavesdrop on what you’re doing.
Furthermore, if you frequently connect to public Wi-Fi, a VPN can be useful. It adds a layer of security to your browsing when HTTPS is not available. It can also offer some privacy from the respective Internet service provider and help lower tracking based on you.
- Update your software
Use the latest versions of the operating system & applications on all your devices. Also, ensure your applications and systems are patched. Newly released patches are effective in fixing bugs and security vulnerabilities. These are small measures that can be instrumental in keeping your devices stable and safe from malware and other threats of data infringement.
- Install anti-virus software
If you share a computer with multiple users or bear the risk of opening perilous links it’s worthwhile to set up antivirus software, especially on Windows computers.
What more can be done?
- Disable location services & microphone access when not required.
- Avoid sharing sensitive information like bank account details or card details on the phone or in emails.
- Be cautious while opening email attachments and links as these can infect your computer with malware.
- Create copies of data and store them separately so that you have access to them in case of loss or modification.
- Enable encryption on your laptop.
- Try to keep your primary email address & phone number as private as possible. You can use a burner email account for not-so important online activities like shopping.
Make SICURNET your partner against data breach threats
A bigger digital footprint poses greater online data security risks. However, you can restrict the pathway to malware by being a vigilant and proactive online user.
SICURNET, an initiative by CRIF serves as an effective solution to thwart risks of a data breach. Want to know how?
- Data protection: Circulation of your data like date of birth, usernames, Pan Numbers, etc is continuously monitored.
- Monitor alerts: If your data is exposed to high-risk environments, you receive an email alert, along with advice on how to protect yourself from possible fraud.
- Specialist assistance: Sicurnet experts are available to clarify any doubts about the actions you need to take.
- Monthly summary: Every month, you receive a summary of the checks carried out, giving you a monthly summary.