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Protect Yourself Against Data Breaches

Data breaches are serious business. If you haven’t put much thought into protecting yourself yet, then now is the time to start. Perhaps you feel that you are not in danger, thinking that only businesses need to worry about hackers. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

According to an article from Wired 2.2 billion usernames and passwords compiled into 4 collections have been released to the black market. These credentials were obtained through both new and old data breaches.

All it takes is one single mistake, one moment of lowering your guard, and you could find your personal information being stolen, no matter who you might be. Data breaches are occurring at an increasing rate. And so, with that in mind, here are 6 tips to help you protect yourself against data breaches:

 

  • First and foremost, you will want to verify if you have already been compromised. You will find a variety of tools online that will help you determine this, such as Hasso-Plattner-Institute. Simply being aware of whether you have been compromised is an important part of protecting yourself.

 

  • Update your passwords. If you find that you have been compromised, it is important that you change your passwords immediately in order to protect yourself. Even if you have not been compromised, you should consider changing your passwords on a regular basis. For the greatest protection, make your passwords complex, and avoid reusing similar passwords.

 

  • Get a password manager. Many people use a single password, or a variation thereof on all their accounts out of concern that they cannot remember the dozen or more that they may need. With the suggestion to change your passwords regularly, while also making them more complex, you may be having similar concerns. They can be alleviated by making use of a password manager, such as Last Pass.

 

  • Add even greater security with the use of two- factor authentication. Not every application offers this option, but it is increasingly becoming available. Whenever possible, make use of it for your protection.

 

  • Simple awareness will also be of benefit. Pay attention to your accounts and watch for anything that looks suspicious. The more attentive you are of your accounts, the greater your chance of spotting anything out of the ordinary. Some applications will even warn you of anything that seems questionable. Don’t ignore these warnings.

 

  • There are many other habits that you can develop to protect yourself. Many are small changes that you can adopt, but enough small changes add up to a much stronger defence. The more you know about cybersecurity in general, the safer you will be. Educate yourself about phishing attempts, or other warning signs.

 

  • Back up your data regularly. This should be part of your routine. Having backups lets you regain your data if a breach makes it necessary.

Data breaches are becoming more frequent and more serious. Keep yourself safe by following the above suggestions and taking the time to learn about online threats to your security.