In the past few months, hackers have become a lot more high profile, with victims including globally renowned technology giant Sony, as well as a host of smaller players and individuals.
The reason for this is that it is actually a lot easier to hack somebody than you think. Recently a company hired a lowly primary school student to try to hack a bunch of people’s email accounts and private laptop information. Amazingly, the student was able to hack many of the laptops to was assigned, showing just how flimsy most people’s data security actually is.
Losing data is a big deal, both for individuals and for businesses. So what can be done to stop it? Quite a lot, actually.
Be Cautious On Public WiFi
WiFi networks have popped up all over the place: in coffee shops, on trains and even in national park centers. This is good if you want to continuously be connected to a fast internet, but it also poses a risk. Fake WiFi networks are an excellent way to steal your information and get access to your private data.
Always make sure that you check the network name to make sure that it’s legitimate. The name of the network, as well as the welcome page, should match the shop or the company that you are using. Starbucks WiFi, for instance, should have a Starbucks welcome page. If it doesn’t, then you’re in trouble.
Protect Your Passwords
What was the reason Wikileaks was able to hack John Podesta’s emails? It’s because his password at the State Department was “password.” In other words, they took a guess at what his password might be, got it right, and then got access to all his personal information.
Your security can be a lot more secure than this. The first thing to do is to make sure that your password is alphanumeric and random. Expert hackers have built up a database of password encryption keys for common passwords like “dog,” so it’s best to choose something completely random.
The second thing to do is set up two-step verification if you’re logging on from a new device. Two-step verification involves signing in and then getting a unique code sent to your mobile that must be entered before you can access a secured area.
Prepare For Disaster
Sometimes hackers will get hold of your personal hardware, or the hardware of a member of staff, especially if you have a BYOD policy. This means that it is important to have immediate disaster recovery for your business. Most of the time this means transferring data from your local site to a remote location so that hackers can’t hold your data to ransom.
Use A VPN
Finally, it’s worth investigating whether you could benefit from a virtual, private network. Virtual private networks sit between your router and your devices, encrypting all traffic on the way in, and on the way out. In a sense, they are your own personal shield against hackers who want to find out more about you. With a VPN, intruders will find it nearly impossible to glean any personal information.