Why Data Protection Matters and How to Protect Identity Online

Why Data Protection Matters and How to Protect Identity Online
Written by Ratnesh

In this cold crude world the only thing we own for ourselves, without any taxes is who we are; our identity. Everything else is permitted and more often everything is temporary than not. You and your identity are unique.

A sublet of your identity is your data. Your data is something that is created by you and it is as unique and as important as your identity. Realistically, your data is your identity and maximum of us have most of our data online if not all of it.

Where things that are important exist, so does criminal activity. There are regular threats to your data and if you look deeper, then you will see that the identities of a whole bunch of random and not-so-random people have been stolen.

Cases of security are growing exponentially and that is something that is very alarming. The problem with a majority of the people using the World Wide Web is that the awareness regarding the importance of online security and privacy does not exist in intensities that it should be in.

People don’t think their data is important enough to anyone but them.

And that is where the problem starts, carelessness about your own data and its importance is what leads to you not taking enough efforts to protect it from the predators stalking everything.

There are millions of data thefts that happen every year and the bounty is sold like regular commodities on the dark web. They are even sold in bulk PACKAGES quite literally, the pieces information like bank account details, cloud account details, social media account details, work details, contact information, addresses, etc., are clubbed together and are labelled as terms like “fullz” package and sold for as low as 5 USD over the dark web.

There also exists a sect in the global community that does realise the importance of their data, their work, their personal information, their assets, their identity as a whole. Among this group, there are some who are constantly looking for new ways to secure their data on the World Wide Web, to look for safe spaces online, a place that is nothing less of a digital home and make the virtual world a bit safer than before their own selves. Are you one of them?

If you are then we have a list of steps and precautions in detail so that you can ensure the protection of your data and your identity online.

1. Stay Alert.

This is the extremely basic step of protecting our data. Being alert indicates that we need to be vigilant, to keep an eye on all the activities of our accounts and devices. Keeping a track of logins, assessing emails and messages before we act on them, keeping a record of the websites we use and what data we provide to the said websites and also what networks we use and are a part of. Every activity counts and though this seems insignificant this action will help you discover a potential threat and also develop your instincts about what is safe and what is not.

2. Use Better Passwords.

A password is a series of characters that are used for the identification of authorised personnel to grant them access to an account or any other resource which is meant to be private and not available to everyone. Everything we put up on the internet we secure it to an extent by using a password that makes it all the more essential to use stronger passwords. Before we start on better passwords the first step is to not use the same password for more than one place. When creating a password be sure to not use a coherent word for no matter what, a coherent word can be guessed also use random numbers and characters and use a password manager if you must but use stronger, random and incoherent passwords.

3. Use two-factor authentication whenever possible.

Did you know that almost 90% of passwords can be hacked within seconds? It’s true and once one password is obtained it’s a cakewalk for the hackers to obtain your passwords for different places as all users and probably even you have a trend for setting and changing passwords. Even though you may take a haywire routine to throw hackers off your scent that can fall short in some places and one step further from using stronger, random and incoherent passwords is using two-step verification. Most social media platforms and cloud storage spaces have this option available for its users and you should make use of it whenever and wherever possible. Two-step verification involves a password and a second step where you are required to input a code received through a text or email or apply your fingerprint to verify it is you and not a hacker.

4. Keep An Eye On Your Credit Report.

Your credit report is basically a record of your payments and checking it is one of the quickest ways of realising if your online security has been compromised. Looking for rogue payments of even the smallest amount and so on is a perfect indicator an account being hacked or successfully phished. And if a provider informs you that their database security has been breached you can check your credit report and take action accordingly to protect yourself from further exploitation.

5. Keep your tech updated.

This seems insignificant but keeping our devices and softwares up-to-date can be of tremendous help when protecting your data and identity as you are equipped with the latest security services that are available in the market. This task does seem like a burden but its a basic to data security. This is extremely easy when you stick with famous brand name browsers and applications.

6. Steganography

Steganography is concealing data as a video (mp4), audio (mp3) or image (JPEG, JPG, BMP, GIF, PNG etc.) thus making it “invisible” to anyone but the person who has concealed it. It is a different kind of encryption and there are various tools in the market that can help you with steganography. This is an extremely effective way compared to other methods because this even hides the fact that something is hidden. In a combination with a secure cloud storage space, such as Houm, this method can prove to be a herculean heist for any data predator to carry out. With this step, you can ensure the protection of your data, offline and online.

7. Rights Management Services (RMS)

RMS is a server software for information rights management which comes along with Windows Server. This uses encryption and selective denial of functions to limit access to various files associated with windows. It provides selective access to the data of an organisation to select individuals, limiting complete access to authorised personnel only. When rights protection is chosen for an authored document, RMS client gains a Client Licensor Certificate (CLC), which enables the client to protect their content. So, if your data is online, RMS will definitely help you greatly in protecting from all kinds of threats, including data brokering.

8. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

A Virtual Private Network enables a private network inside a public network system. It allows those in the VPN to share data with other devices on the VPN over a shared network or a public network as if they were in a private network. It is thus extremely accessible and equally safe this is possible because when you use a VPN, the company providing the VPN service will replace your original IP address with one of their own ensuring that your internet space is not breached.

9. Intrusion Detection Systems [IDS]

IDS is a device or software that supervises the activities of a network for activities that seem malicious or violate any policy. This thoroughly monitors data transportation, locating vulnerabilities and catching the “bad guys”.

Using IDS helps organisations in locating faulty links inside the network and thus, protecting the privacy of its members.