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4 Effective Tips to Avoid a Data Breach

August 19, 2020
EMAIL AND TECHNOLOGY

We’ve all seen the headlines the last few years about the dreaded data breaches: From financial institutions that have been hacked, exposing millions of clients’ sensitive information, to cyber election interference that has plagued both sides of the political aisle, cybercriminals are getting increasingly sophisticated at targeting large-scale sources of information. However, they’re not only going after corporations and organizations; it’s just as important for everyday internet users to know how to avoid data breaches. Individual, personal data can be just as valuable to criminals as organizational information—and the loss of the privacy of that data can be a nightmare for victims.

If you’re looking to understand how to avoid a data breach, here are four simple, but effective, tips:

1. Always Use a Search Browser

A browser that is not secured can easily be accessed by cybercriminals, who may be able to find your IP number, browsing history and other personal information. A secure browser, however, adds another layer of defense. Make sure to research the security protocols of your selected browser before logging on so that you can keep your privacy as a top priority.

 

2. Use Private Email

Free, public email like Gmail or Yahoo! may entice users with its free, easy to set up accounts, but that convenience may come at the price of your privacy, as such sites have been known to use lax security measures and even sell your information to third parties. Instead, private email services like those offered by Reagan.com use end-to-end encryption and other leading-edge security measures to ensure only the sender and receiver can access the message. As email is often an entry point for cybercriminals, this is one of the most basic yet valuable strategies for how to avoid data breaches.

 

3. Be Smart with Your Passwords

We’ve all heard it’s important to not use basic, identifying information in your passwords, but there are many other things you should also be considering when setting your login credentials. The more complex, the better—so use a combination of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters, none of which should be related to any people, places, or events in your life that could be figured out. Also, don’t use the same passwords for your accounts and make sure to change them often.

 

4. Control Your Linked Accounts:

Linking your accounts—and your devices—can make logging in and using email or social media a bit easier, but it poses a major threat to your cybersecurity. For instance, a recent data breach at Facebook exposed millions of users’ personal information—and those that had their accounts linked to other social media or email sites may have given hackers much easier access into those data sources.

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