Imagine getting an email in the middle of a busy workday claiming to expose your teenage charades with your ex to your boss. A data breach is precisely this – stealing your personal information and using it in inappropriate ways to make money. Advanced data protection is important to protect the data from cybercriminals trying to tarnish you or your business reputation. We have hired an outsourced Data Protection Officer to ensure that all of our company’s data is protected to the highest standard.
Sensitive personal information can cause unimaginable damage to an individual’s personal and professional life. It is essential to understand:
- What is data protection?
- How do you get affected by a data breach?
- How do you compromise data protection through careless internet browsing?
- How to benefit from data protection?
Definition of Data Protection
All acts of
- Erasing your digital footprints
- Protecting vital personal, professional, and sensitive data by using passwords and encryption
- Safeguarding against unauthorized use of data that damage your reputation
How are you Affected?
Every person using the internet is at the risk of their sensitive and confidential information getting stolen. You might be an immaculate and ethical person who might not indulge in any form of cyber enjoyment or guilty pleasure. You might feel there is nothing to fear or judge from your browsing history. But you’re mistaken.
Here is an actual description of a targeted phishing attack on a corporate company:
Mr. X was the brain of an important project in his office. A person called him from a website he recently visited to read industry news. The person on the other end chatted with him professionally and gathered his feedback regarding the website appearance, content, user-friendliness, etc.
Appreciating his valuable time and productive feedback, Mr. X got an email with a coupon for a free premium membership on that particular website. He opened it from his office computer, and malware in the attachment entered his system. It slowly made its way into the company CRM and other project files as he kept using them throughout the day.
It took nearly a week for the corporate company to find out their core project design information had been stolen and sold to the competitor because their star employee opened an anonymous email – which looked ultimately legit. It was too late when Mr. X found out there is no premium membership for the news website, and nobody called him from there.
The data breach occurred using three steps here.
- Cybercriminals did enough research to track which person in the company had access to core project details.
- Hackers tracked his digital footprints.
- They designed a tailored phishing attack on Mr. X, who was a bait used to harm the company he worked for
Carelessness Led to Data Breach
This targeted attack is a perfect combination of clever use of technology and careless user behavior.
- X failed to take steps to erase his digital footprints regularly
- His company did not invest in advanced security software that could detect the malware
How to use Data Protection?
Usage of a simple browser plugin like a Cookinator or Secureclean would have provided the much-needed security.
Pro Tips: If you are using Chrome, click Show advanced settings -> Privacy header -> Content settings -> Cookies -> Select ‘Keep local data only until I quit my browser’. This setting will clear all browsing history each time you close your browser.
Use the “Clear Browsing Data” extension for the Firefox browser.
While this example is just a grain among the millions of assaults taking place daily, it is vital to stay safe and take precautions to keep your data and the data of your loved ones safe and secure.
Data breach usually targets four main types of information
- Personal information
- Professional information
- Financial information
- Medical-related information
All these four types of information are goldmines that can earn the cybercriminals thousands of dollars in the dark web – the underworld of the internet.
Personal information is mainly used for identity theft to create fake passports, driving licenses, etc. This information gets used to gain various benefits like government severance packages, insurance discounts, and improved credit scores.
Data Protection Tip 1: Protect data by using strong passwords, security software and hiding your browsing history.
Professional information is often stolen for the sake of industry competition and to gain a competitive advantage over one another. The professional details are also used to create fake experience profiles, certificates, job experience portfolios and fetch lucrative employment under your name.
Data Protection Tip 2: Use high-quality encryption software on your computer whenever you fill in personal details to protect your data. Have a professional email for job and bank-related transactions and another common one for fun. Protect both accounts with strong passwords. Verify the source of the email thoroughly before opening an email. Never open attachments from unknown people. You can use GoAnywhere Ad Hoc Secure Mail with Outlook Plugin for a more secure email communication. GoAnywhere’s secure mail client allows employees to send messages and files as secure “packages” on an ad-hoc basis.
Data Protection Tip 3: Report immediately to the concerned authorities and block all further transactions and create a block on your cards and account if you suspect a breach.
You might have an unknown bank account you opened many years ago. Millions of dollars will get transacted through that account under the name of a company you own to convert black money into legitimate money. Numerous financial acts that are highly punishable, like funding the criminals through dormant bank accounts, can be done using the pretext of your identity and financial details.
Data protection Tip 4: Have a clear contract regarding data protection and data breach compensation with your hospital.
Stealing medical-related information is the next highest-earning crime as it poses a grave danger of being kidnapped by the human trafficking groups for organ harvest, skin harvest, etc. Selling alternative medicines and therapy by identifying a person’s primary health risk is also common.
The data breach might occur anytime from anywhere. Ensure you stay safe and do not disclose your crucial information to anyone other than close friends. If you want to connect with a new person online or offline, check their legitimacy using Nuwber first. Learn about data protection, how to use it effectively, and how to avoid all careless activities that make you vulnerable to cybercriminals. Take productive and technical steps to stay safe and keep the people who trust you safe.