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HOW MUCH DO WE KNOW ABOUT PROTECTING OUR ESSENTIAL DATA?

Data protection is a way of securing valuable data from unauthorized access. Most people believe that their data is very protected. However, most of us know little about data protection and cybersecurity. Digital information is centered around our daily activities like social media, emails, text messages, and more. Likewise, our digital footprints can be exposed to the dark side of those cybercriminals who look for all vulnerabilities and different methods to exploit unsecured data for money or other benefits.

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How do you know if your private or sensitive data/files are secure? Honesty, most of us do not know, and millions of people are exposed to hackers and spammers daily. 

Types of cybersecurity threats 

Malware: This is a type of software that is designed to infect the computer and cause damage to the system. It is usually caused by mistakenly downloading a file or clicking a wrong link. It can spread across multiple computers if care is not taken.

Ransomware: Ransomware is a type of malicious software that is designed to extort money by holding valuable files or computers to ransom until the money is paid. The files will be encrypted with a key until the ransom has been paid. An example is "WannaCry" ransomware. Click here for more information: What is WannaCry ransomware, how does it infect, and who was responsible?

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For more about ransomware click here

Social engineering: This is leveraging victim information to launch an attack.

According to IDG CSO online, “Social engineering is the art of gaining access to buildings, systems or data by exploiting human psychology, rather than by breaking in or using technical hacking techniques. For example, instead of trying to find a software vulnerability, a social engineer might call an employee and pose as an IT support person, trying to trick the employee into divulging his password.” What is social engineering 

Phishing: Phishing is the process of sending fake emails with malicious intent. The intention is to steal sensitive data such as login credentials, credit cards, and other valuable information.

To learn more about phishing: click here to learn more about phishing

What is considered important data?

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Important data is any data that needs to be secure or protected from unauthorized access; these can be your email, bank record, identification, or important files.

In today's digital era, we have more data than before, and some of these data need to be protected. How do we keep our crucial data protected either online or offline? What happens if we lose our important files, or the data is stolen? 

Cyber attacks are more popular and sophisticated compared to ten years ago. Cybercriminals are getting more intelligent and dangerous than ever. 

We have to protect ourselves on the internet and offline. This article aims to educate us on how to manage and protect our valuable information.

Why do I have to protect my valuable information?

Protecting your data and being able to recover it quickly in case of an emergency are really significant.

How can I recover my valuable data in case of an emergency? There should be a solution that protects our data and that allows us to recover lost data. Anyone can be affected, and we should not ignore an unpredictable crisis. We should always think of this as being the same as having an insurance policy for our essential data. Even IT companies like ours can be affected. Years ago, we had a situation in which we lost critical data from one of our development servers. The system stored our data for development work and tests. Our development web server was attacked due to its vulnerability. We lost the data, and everything we developed for the web server was gone completely. This was a wake-up call for us to be proactive and find a better way to protect our critical data. Most importantly, we were able to recover the information by restoring the data from our backup; our backup plan had saved us and had allowed us to recover what was lost. If we hadn't had our backup and recovery plan we would have lost the data and hard work we had done developing the Web application.

How do I protect valuable data?

We identify two areas: cybersecurity and backup, and recovery solutions

These are best practices of data protection either on the Internet or offline. 

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CYBERSECURITY SOLUTIONS

According to Cisco, “Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting systems, networks, and programs from digital attacks. These cyber attacks are usually aimed at accessing, changing, or destroying sensitive information; extorting money from users; or interrupting normal business processes.” What is cybersecurity

Please click here for more information about Website security protection (SPAM, SSL, Website security & malware protection)

The following are best practices in protecting your information from cybercrime:

1. Antivirus and malware software protection

The most effective way of protecting your valuable information is anti-virus and malware protection. Antivirus and anti-malware software protect against computer viruses and malware that can infect your system. According to Symantec Corporation, a leader in antivirus software, “Antivirus software helps protect your computer against malware and cybercriminals. Antivirus software looks at data—web pages, files, software, and applications—traveling over the network to your devices. It searches for known threats and monitors the behavior of all programs, flagging suspicious behavior. It seeks to block or remove malware as quickly as possible.” What is antivirus software? Antivirus definition. Antivirus software is designed to protect against computer viruses and malware, scan the computer, and destroy the threat. Malware is malicious software that can crash your system or monitor and control your activities on the computer. To find the best antivirus protection, please click here End-Point Protection viruses and malware

2. Internet security protection

Antivirus can protect against malware, but our digital presence and online activities need to be secure and protected against cybercriminals. Antivirus protects endpoints (computers and other devices), but our online activities are also vulnerable to attacks. This protection includes email, web browsing, file attachments, hyperlinks, display ads, social media apps, connected devices like USB drives, and other blended threats with the potential to deliver malicious payloads. Symantec and other antivirus software protection offer internet security add-ons to their software packages. We recommend complete protection, which includes antivirus and internet security protection bundled together. 

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security protocol for an encrypted link between a web server and the browser. SSL encrypt our data and provide safe browsing on the internet, it provides data encryption in transit. For more information about SSL please click here

Why do you need SSL? The answer is simple; to protect your information, especially when you are transmitting sensitive information online such as payment information, credit card information, your contact information, and other important data. 

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How do you know if a website has an SSL certificate? The SSL certificate is a padlock sign that we see whenever we visit a website as shown from the image above. Not every website has SSL, but always look for this padlock and confirm it's legitimate before you send any valuable information. The easiest way to check if a website is secure and the SSL certificate is valid is to click on the padlock and click on “Certificate” valid for chrome; other browsers have similar verification. If you are looking for a free SSL certificate for your website, Let's Encrypt provide a free one, and we provide this to our customers free of charge, Let's Encrypt. We believe that everyone should be able to browse the internet securely. Let's Encrypt's key principle is that “Anyone who owns a domain name can use. Let’s Encrypt to obtain a trusted certificate at zero cost.” 

3. How to protect your account with a secure password?

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Securing your account is a must for everyone that uses password-protected login. The security protection approaches to defend your sensitive data as the cyber threat is becoming outrageous and sophisticated. However, it is essential to understand how to choose a secure password.
Learn about password mistakes and how can you make your password secure without too much hassle? click here to learn how to protect your account with a secure password password

4. MFA - Multi-Factor Authentication

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MFA/2FA also know as 2-factor authentication is an additional level of authentication that proof your authenticity beside your username and password, using a device( such as phone, fingerprint, tokens) as another layer of security.

For more information about MFA/2FA, please click here - MFA - Multi-Factor AuthenticationMFA - Multi-Factor Authentication

5. Firewall protection

What is a firewall? It is not a real wall, and it is more like a filter for your network traffics, it scans your system or computer's activities and blocks any unauthorized event or access to your computer. In other terms, it blocks any suspicious communication to your system. Firewall protection is the process of defending your network and systems from unauthorized access, and this can be access control, restriction on the network based on department, customers and more. This method usually protects an individual’s or a company’s network by setting up rules about who and what has access to valuable information. How do firewalls prevent computer viruses?

Extra take away on cybercrime. According to “creditcards.com” Studies show Americans fear cybercrime more than physical crimes, such as a home burglary or a mugging. Experts weigh in on how to reduce your fear of being targeted by ID thieves.

BACKUP AND RECOVERY PLAN

Since we cannot predict a future disaster or an unexpected crisis, we should have a recovery plan for our valuable data. Backup and recovery plans preserve our useful information and assure us that we can recover from the loss of data. Backup is the process of making a backup copy of your data and storing it in a location that is different from the source location. The backup can be cloud backup, another computer, or a data center. Cloud backup is the best way of storing copies of your computer files online quickly so that you don’t lose them if your system gets lost, damaged, or compromised by malware such as ransomware. A recovery plan is the ability to recover the stored copies of your files. We recommend that you consistently back up your most critical data either in the cloud or in an offsite location for easy recovery. We think of backup as insurance against disaster, ransomware, a computer crash, and other emergencies.

Please visit our cloud backup solution: AkolagTech Cloud Backup

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Why should we care about how secure our data is? This is the most crucial question that we should be asking ourselves, and we should be proactive in protecting our valuable data. We can never predict what will happen in the future, but we can be better prepared for it in case we face the problem. Let us start taking action to secure what we consider to be very important to us. Many businesses had shut down or run out of business because of the loss of data, security breaches, and more. 

 

How do you start protecting your data, computer, accounts and more?

1. Get a copy of virus/malware and internet protection, protect your PC/MAC, server and other devices

2. Always use a strong password with a combination of letters, symbol, and alphanumeric
3. Opt-in for MFA/2FA as discuss above
4. Start backing up your files and computer, including your website

5. Security awareness training, knowledge is the best defensive method against cyber attack

6. Never share your sensitive information to just anyone, ask questions and consult with an expert about cybersecurity, AkolagTech tech support team are here to help you with any cybersecurity question

 

 

Notes:

What is a computer virus?

For more information about computer virus click here. 

 

 

Please click here for more information about Website security protection (SPAM, SSL, Website security & malware protection)

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