How to Protect Your Data

Like most people engaged in extramarital affairs, Amazon’s billionaire founder Jeff Bezos thought his affairs were secret.

Little did he know he was been spied upon.

He found out when he received ransom demands.

One will imagine, Mr. Bezos being the richest man in the world would have the most secured security details.

But like most people, Mr. Bezos never imagined anyone was interested in his private life.

He discovered how wrong he was to the tune of thirty-eight billion dollar divorce bill.

Are you making similar mistake right this moment with your data security?

Your Data Your New Asset

Most people view their property as their most valuable asset.

Closely followed by their car.

As valuable as those may be, the reality is the worth of your property pales in comparison to the value of your data.

As demonstrated above, Mr. Bezos property and car are not worth thirty-eight billion dollars.

This means in additional to placing security gadgets around his home, Mr. Bezos would have been well advised to place more emphasis on the security of his data.

The same applies to you.

Failure to recognise the value of your personal data and take appropriate measures to protect them is a risky preposition.

How Valuable is Your Data

Before discussing strategies for your data protection, we first need to discuss why your data might be of interest to data criminals and hackers.

You might have heard the story of the bitcoin investor who is unable to claim over a billion pounds worth of bitcoin because he forgot his password.

Before the invention of bitcoin, a Swiss bank account was the safest way of wealth concealment.

Since there were no names associated with Swiss bank accounts, the individual wealth was in his bank account password…The data.

You might not have a bitcoin or Swiss bank account neither are you as wealthy as Jeff Bezos, therefore, you might be dupped into believing data criminals have no reason to steal your data.

But you are wrong.

Data criminals and hackers do not only target wealthy people.

In fact, they target more people like you than they do wealthy people.

Once in a while, they get lucky and hit someone like Jeff Bezos.

But the Jeff Bezos of this world have very complex web of intricate security measures that are inaccessible to all but the most sophisticated hackers.

The majority of hackers and data criminal target someone like you because they know there is a high possibility your defences could be easily breached.

So, don’t get faked out by thinking you are safe from hackers and data criminals because you are not on Forbes Rich List.

Included In Effective Data Protection Strategy

Building an effective data protection strategy requires us to first define the word data.

What is your data?

Your data is any identifiable information associated with you.

  • MS Office including: teams, email & calendar
  • Cloud (online) storage space
  • Tech support including: installation, acceptable use policies creation & monthly software update
  • Antivirus software & periodic virus scan
  • Virus removal from computer, phone, email & website
  • Lost data recovery
  • IT security awareness training

As you can see from the above list, there is a long list of things that make up your data.

Meaning an effective data protection strategy must take into account the protection of all of those assets.

The Best Data Protection Strategy

Step one in data protection strategy is debunking the myth that your data is irrelevant to hackers and data criminals.

Your data is as important to hackers and data criminals and that of Jeff Bezos.

Data protection strategy step two: take a complete inventory of all of your assets as listed above.

Data protection strategy step three: protect your financial information…credit card details, bank account details and residential address should never be made easily accessible. They should be shredded instead of placed in your bin.

Data protection strategy step four: protect your login credentials…Username and password.

The most common way of accessing your data online is through your login credentials.

To minimise the possibilities of compromise, use multifactor authentication, frequently change login credentials, use password management software and use different credentials on multiple platforms.

Data protection strategy step five: emails, phone and other forms of communications…Do not make your personal emails address public. Ideally use multiple email addresses for different situations.

Never click on links from unknown sources on your personal computer or phone.

Those funny cat videos forwarded to you might contain virus, so be careful of the source of forwarded contents.

Make us of email filters to filter emails before they land in your inbox.

Ensure you do not expose your credentials through your social media postings.

Data protection strategy step six: protect documents on your PC and phone…Use antivirus and frequently scan your devices.

Automatically backup your data to the cloud as you work to avoid losing your data in the event of a compromise.

Password protect and encrypt your documents whenever necessary.

Data protection strategy step seven: protect the personal info of your family.

Hackers usually penetrate big companies through their small subsidiaries, hackers and data criminals might access your data through members of your family.

Therefore, ensure the devices of every member of your family is as secure as yours.

Remember even your pet’s name could be used to compromise your data.

Need Help?

Need help protecting your data?

Device breakdown and data loss can be devastating especially when remote working.

While preventative measures can help minimise the damage, it is not a substitute for expert intervention.

At the Remote Working Helpdesk, we help small businesses and professional entrepreneurs like private medical doctors, lawyers, accountants and dentists prevent, protect and recover lost data.

For help with automatic data backup, secure access to data anytime, anywhere on any device and speedy stress-free device replacement service. Get started with your 30-Day 100% risk free trial now

or call +44(0) 208798 0579 or email: info@losspreventionv.com

About the author

Romeo Richards

Romeo Richards is a CompTIA, EC-Council, Microsoft & CISCO certified Penetration Tester and Cyber Security Analyst. Rome has 15 years security management, marketing and retail loss prevention experience. He has authored 23 books and numerous articles and whitepapers.

Frequently presents webinars and workshops.

Featured in Professional Security Magazine, Retail Week & Retail Technology Magazine