Technology has come a long way. The advancement of technology has paved the way for much more development in the fields of medicine, transportation, economics, finance, and many more. Along with the multitude of benefits that came with the rapid growth of technology came some issues, one of which is cybersecurity.
Many businesses today rely on technology for the majority of the processes that occur within their organization. From simple document filings to multi-million financial transactions, companies rely on technology to make sure that these tasks get accomplished. Since these tasks are done through the use of technology, they are vulnerable to cyber attacks. Businesses should be as diligent with their cyber security as much as they are when it comes to physical security; they employ security guards and install surveillance cameras so why does their cybersecurity measures be any different?
Cyber attacks can disrupt a company’s daily routine, but the more significant problems that this may cause are substantial financial and reputational damage. Who would want to do business with a company that has been compromised by hackers? There are many instances of companies being hacked in the recent years. Big companies like Adobe Systems, Yahoo!, and eBay have been victims of cyber attacks perpetrated by professional hackers that resulted in data breaches.
If you think that cyber attacks don’t concern you as an individual, you’re sorely mistaken. The personal information that you use on any platform on the Internet, like your social media accounts or personal online banking accounts, can be used by hackers to steal your identity or money. In fact, many of these hackers are intent on getting personal information because of the monetary gain. Online shopping requires your credit card information to finish the transaction, now imagine if a hacker got a hold of this data from millions of people in one fell swoop? That could amount to millions of dollars.
Companies have now realized the importance of cybersecurity and improvements in their cybersecurity infrastructure has been improved. As an individual who uses the Internet, you should also start taking precautions to keep your personal information safe. Here are some tips to protect your personal information:
1. Start offline. – Keep your financial documents and personal records in a safe place at home. Make sure to only bring necessary identification cards, credit or debit cards, and insurance card when you leave your house. Don’t carry your social security card with you unless you will use it. When giving out information at work, the doctor’s office, or a commercial establishment, make sure to ask what they need it for, how they plan on protecting the information, and the consequence of not sharing the information. Destroy documents containing your personal information once you don’t need it anymore.
2. Be vigilant online. – Beware of e-mails that do not come from trusted sources. Do not enter your personal information into any forms online unless you initiated the contact with the website. Banks and other financial entities will never ask you for your personal information online. If you’re unsure, it’s best to contact the company themselves. Go to the company’s official website and contact them through their customer service.
3. Clean your hardware. – Before disposing of a computer or mobile device, make sure that you clear all of your personal information from it. Check user manuals or online resources about how to completely wipe your device. Make sure to delete all messages, contact details, call history, Internet browsing history, voicemails, and media like photos and videos before you dispose of the device.
4. Rules for passwords. – It’s best to have a longer password with a mixture of letters, numbers, and special characters; this will make your accounts harder to get into. Do not share your password with unverified sources. Try to change your passwords every couple of months to make sure that your data is secure.
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This article originally appeared on Hogan Injury.