There are two types of users. Those who say they have nothing to hide and conceal, and those who use all possible methods of data protection to keep their personal information secure.
This article is for the first type of people or for those who are somewhere in between. People of the second type are aware of these techniques and apply them in practice almost every day.
So what should you do today to ensure information security?
- Make a backup copy of important data.
- Replace simple passwords by stronger ones.
- Make a copy of information stored in the cloud.
Why should you make a backup copy of important data?
Let’s start with a question whether there is a need to save a copy of your hard disk on other media. The improvement of software goes side by side with the improvement of malware. Ransomware viruses became especially active. Getting on your computer, ransomware virus blocks the access to your data and requires a payment for decoding them. But often even the transfer of the required sum of money does not solve the issue with the encrypted data. In such a case these data may be considered as lost forever.
Why should you change your passwords?
In the fall of 2015 was published a list of the most popular passwords of Ashley Madison website. And at the end of 2015 year, we got an opportunity to see a list of the worst passwords used in 2015. According to these lists, which coincide in the majority of points, people do not like to complicate their lives and choose simple passwords. They keep using such easy combinations as 123456, password, password1, qwerty, etc. Coming up with a new password, try to make it very complicated for it not to be brute forced.
But still, even this is not enough. Unfortunately, online fraudsters are constantly improving their skills, and soon there will be not a single password they would be unable to get. Then how to protect your personal data? In fact, you cannot rely only on passwords, thus the best way to protect your data is to use at least two-factor authentication where it is possible.
2-factor authentication presupposes the use of two different factors of authentication when logging in the account. The first factor is something you know (usually it is login and password), and the second factor is something you have (usually it is one-time password generated with the help of OTP token or application on the smartphone, also it can be delivered via SMS or the voice call).
Thus, even if a fraudster hacks your main password, he won’t manage to go through the next authentication step. And vice versa, even having the one-time password generator (token) or your phone, the fraudster will not be able to log in without knowing a static password. Two-factor authentication is especially important for bank accounts or corporate e-mails.
But even using 2FA you shouldn’t forget that static passwords play an important role in two-factor authentication as they are one of two factors – a knowledge factor.
Why should you make a copy of the information from the cloud?
How many times we have already seen the faces of users who suddenly couldn’t find important documents, which they stored in cloud services. And this may happen to anyone. So next time when you think of leaving the important information in your account in Gmail, Dropbox, or any other service, think twice and make a copy on your hard disk.