March 03, 2021

How to Protect Your Private Information Online

6 Effective Ways to Protect Your Private Information Online

In today’s digital world, data thieves are constantly seeking to exploit people’s online vulnerabilities with increasingly sophisticated, and frequent, phishing and fraud scams. Since the start of COVID-19, this has only increased1, as the rise in remote working brings with it a fresh array of security challenges.
In response, businesses and individuals must ask themselves: is my personal information on the internet secure? Chances are it isn’t, so to counteract this and avoid the reputational damage and crippling fines that often follow a data breach, read our simple steps to assist in protecting your private information online.

1. Be Aware of Impersonators
In the event you do have to part with your personal information, check and check again that it’s safe to do so. Don’t give out your information on the phone or via the internet unless you’ve initiated the contact. Be wary of phishing scams trying to prize your personal information from you and avoid clicking on links or attachments.
Cybercriminals do a good job of tricking people into clicking on links supposedly from legitimate organisations. So, think before you click: keep an eye out for spelling errors and email addresses that don’t seem right. If you’ve been asked to send a company information, simply type the company name into your web browser, go to their website and contact them through customer service.

2. Safely Dispose of Personal Information
Eventually, all of our technology has to be replaced. But rather than just throwing any old computers or laptops in the rubbish bin or simply recycling them, you must destroy all of the personal information they store. However, if your hard drive disposal process only includes erasing, reformatting or wiping, you’re still potentially at risk. In fact, as long as the drives are physically intact, your private information can still be retrieved.
Shred-it's hard drive destruction services utilises destruction machinery specifically designed to completely destroy your hard drives so that data can never be retrieved or reconstructed. Physical destruction will ensure that your digital data is permanently destroyed.

3. Passwords are the Keys to Your Digital Kingdom
Did you know two of the most common passwords used last year were password and 123456? If this is you, or your passwords are equally as weak, you’re making it all too easy for data thieves to steal your personal information.
Instead, use unique, complex passwords with a combination of lower and upper-case letters, numbers and symbols and do not use the same password across your accounts.

4. Share Less on Social Media
Once you post something online, it’s out there for everyone to see, so be careful with the identifiable information you use in your social media profile and which applications you sign up to. Cybercriminals can often obtain your confidential information with just a few data points, so the less you share publicly, the better. Case in point: if you post your pet’s name or reveal your mother’s maiden name, you might expose the answers to two common security questions.

5. Secure Your Devices
In today’s digital world, people own more and more devices. But securing these is imperative. On your computer or laptops, install anti-virus software, anti-spyware software and a firewall, to protect against intrusions and infections that can compromise your computer files or passwords.
Only keep sensitive information on your laptop or devices when completely necessary. Don’t use an automatic login feature that saves your username and password and always log off when you’re finished. In the off chance your laptop or devices are stolen, this will make it a lot harder for a thief to get to your personal information.

6. Employee Education and Awareness
Finally, in any workplace, it’s essential that employees are first aware of the risks, but also comfortable dealing with and reporting cyber threats. In turn, this requires companies to embrace and instill a security first culture, where every person in an organisation is educated about cybersecurity.
By bringing staff up to speed and giving them the confidence to identify and deal with threats, this can greatly reduce the human error often attributed to data breaches. In the process, this can help to ensure your organisation avoids the reputational damage and significant fines that often arise after a data breach – meaning any investment in training will be more than repaid!

How Can Shred-it Singapore Help to Protect Your Team?

Today, it’s more important than ever to protect your personal information. Shred-it’s world-class, document destruction services make sure your organisation is protected at all costs, to give you peace of mind and the freedom to focus on the day-to-day success of your business. Get in touch today for a no-obligation quote, for services tailored to the exact needs of your business.
1 Impact of COVID-19 on Cybersecurity
This article is provided for your convenience and does not constitute legal advice. Readers should not take, or refrain from taking, actions based upon the content of this article. Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes. Please seek professional legal advice.