Information has been making rounds ever since writing was developed. Let’s discuss an interesting term that has gained popularity with the evolution of technology and the Internet. Have you ever heard the word ‘data’? Of course, you have. While you get the general sense of the word itself and what it implies, there’s a whole lot you should make yourself aware of about the subject.
When we say ‘data’, a general picture of large demographics and statistics starts flowing through the mind, or if you never had a knack for technical jargon, then the first thing that comes to mind is your mobile or Wi-Fi data. But data is so much more than just these two examples. Once you understand that, you’ll realize just how important data protection is and why it is important for you as you use modern devices more and more every day.
Without further ado, here is data protection and why it is becoming more important as the Internet age evolves.
What is data protection?
“It means protecting my data, right?”
You are absolutely right there, but do you know what exactly constitutes data and how you can protect it? That’s what we’ll answer here.
So, what is data?
In Internet terms, data is the plural for the packets of information that are stored or transferred digitally over networks, servers, and remote connections between different systems. This includes absolutely every piece of information you can think of when it comes to computers and phones. Your web browsing activity? It’s data. The amount of time you played Clash of Clans? Sure enough, that’s data. The ads you click on every day as you surf the net? That’s a gold mine of data for data collectors. Not mentioning the information you have already voluntarily put out there in your social media accounts. Wonder what personal data of yours people can already have access to? Just type your name in Nuwber and see what comes up.
Every activity you perform is stored in your device’s network infrastructure which is more or less collected by different companies or vendors through the net.
Now that you know what data is, let’s discuss data protection.
In real life, you can just buy a capable vault to store valuables. The password of the vault is essential in ensuring that the vault isn’t broken into. Let’s apply that to the technological world. You set a strong screen lock so that curious hands don’t break into your phone. Same with the strong password combinations for different account IDs.
Passwords are just one form of data protection.
Data protection is a set of guidelines, principles, and best practices that ensure a secure data cycle, from its usage, collection, storage, to sharing it with the primary receiver.
What happens in a data breach?
In most cases, it will just be an everyday nuisance that doesn’t directly affect you. In threatening cases, your life can be made a living hell. Let’s understand why.
So, you love to store financial information for easy transactions. Who doesn’t? Everyone does it. Let’s talk about millions of Internet users. In the US alone, Amazon has 148.6 million active Amazon Prime users. Say Amazon suffered a data breach. It did actually, but our scenario is hypothetical for now. In the event of a data breach, that’s the debit and credit card information, login credentials, transaction history, product history, home and work addresses, buying preferences, viewing preferences, etc. of over 148.6 million people being leaked for everyone to see. You don’t want to be among those, do you?
Amazon is just one example. Equifax was breached in 2017. Being a credit bureau, it’s just unsettling and downright ridiculous for the consumers. Financial information has the topmost priority for data protection.
That’s why data breaches are a growing concern in the cybersecurity realm, and that is also why data protection has become so important.
How to protect your data
Since you got this far in the article, you probably realize how dangerous a data breach can be and why you need to start protecting your data. Let’s look at some best practices that you can implement to do so.
- Avoid public Wi-Fi and use a VPN
Why give strangers sitting in a coffee shop access to connecting with your device? If you still decide to do it, use a VPN so that a potential cybercriminal thinks your device is in another country when in reality you are sitting in Starbucks in New York City.
VPNs are amazing for a number of reasons. First, they provide complete IP masking, and that’s substantial in preventing misuse of data. Second, good VPNs can give you access to content your country has blocked, so that is an added benefit. Install a VPN and use it every time you need to use public Wi-Fi.
- Antivirus software and network security tools
2021 is the perfect time to stop dragging the 30-day free trial and to invest in good antivirus software. Some famous players in the market are Norton, Kaspersky, Avast, and McAfee. Most of these are paid services, but they have free trial periods for you to assess if it’s the best one for you. Select the one you find affordable. If you don’t want to invest money, why not look at some reliable free software that is packed with innovative network security features?
- Strong password combination
We mentioned a strong password combination before. It’s magnificent. Set up a password of minimum 12 characters, with special symbols, upper and smaller case letters, and some numbers, and you’ll be giving a brute-forcing hacker a run for his money.
Hope you realize how crucial data protection has become as the use of technology increases every day. With new safeguards and protection barriers in the source code of software, apps, and websites, hackers are also upgrading their game. They are not going to rest without their criminal antics; why should you when it comes to securing your data? Get up to best practices and start protecting your data today.