In Focus 19 Nov 2021 Ways to protect your ...

Ways to protect your data from hackers

SPOTLIGHT
Published Nov 19, 2021, 6:29 pm IST
Updated Nov 19, 2021, 6:44 pm IST
In most cases, the cost of recovering from a data breach is usually more than the cost of preventing one
The COVID-19 pandemic also contributed to this increase because more people worked from home to avoid contracting and spreading the virus.
 The COVID-19 pandemic also contributed to this increase because more people worked from home to avoid contracting and spreading the virus.

Data breaches worldwide are increasing due to advancements in technology and bad actors having access to sophisticated tools. As the rest of the world keeps reeling from these data breaches, India is no different. Between 2019 and 2020, there was a 37% increase in reported data breaches in India.

The COVID-19 pandemic also contributed to this increase because more people worked from home to avoid contracting and spreading the virus. As a result, companies could not fully control how employees accessed company resources, and hackers took advantage of that. This article looks at ways you can protect your data from hackers in India.

 

Six Ways to Protect Your Data from Hackers

In most cases, the cost of recovering from a data breach is usually more than the cost of preventing one. As the saying goes, “prevention is better than cure.” Below, we dive into five ways you can protect your data from hackers in India.

1. Use Antivirus Software

Many people get hacked without knowing because they don’t have software that can detect viruses and malware. Antivirus software should be your first line of defense against hackers. It protects your computer or phone against malicious software by identifying them and taking action against them, such as deleting them or putting them in a place they can’t cause any harm. It is vital that you always use premium antivirus software as they give you the best protection against sophisticated malware hackers use.

 

2. Two-Factor Authentication

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) is a way to protect your online accounts from unauthorized access. It’s a way for online services to add another verification method apart from your password and username so that if hackers have access to those, there’s another layer of security before they can access your account.
There are three categories of factors you can use for 2FA: something you are (biometrics), something you know (password or pin), and something you have (smart card or token). So, apart from using complex passwords, ensure you enable 2FA on all your accounts online to make it challenging for anyone to hack you.

 

3. Keep All Software Up to Date

A significant amount of data breaches occur because of unpatched software. Software is not usually perfect and can contain bugs that hackers can exploit to gain access to your system. Some software updates are security patches and fixes that prevent hackers from exploiting vulnerabilities. This is why it is important to regularly update software, especially your operating system, as zero-day exploits are popular ways hackers gain unwanted access to computers.

4. Regular Backups

Having backups of data on your computing system is crucial as it is a proactive measure in case hackers steal your data or hold it for ransom. Additionally, it is important if hackers render your system inoperable or wipe your system, so you don’t lose vital personal or company data. You can always back up data on external storage devices or in the cloud.  

 

5. Use a VPN and Encrypt Storage Drives

A VPN encrypts your internet connection and ensures hackers do not access your data as it moves through the internet. Using a VPN is a good way to prevent hackers from monitoring your network and stealing personal information from you. Additionally, encrypting your hard drives or other storage media ensures that even if hackers have access to them, they will find it challenging to read the files. You can use BitLocker (for Windows users) or FileVault (for macOS users) to encrypt your hard drives.

6. Be Cyber Conscious

 

Having basic cybersecurity knowledge is important because hackers prey on users that are not cyber conscious. For example, phishing is one of the most popular ways hackers use to spread malware. Users with basic cybersecurity knowledge, such as not clicking on unknown links and not downloading unknown attachments, are unlikely to fall victim to phishing attacks. Other important cybersecurity safety tips include the following:

●    Stop using public Wi-Fi to access sensitive data (such as financial data) on your device.
●    Check links before clicking on them.
●    Don’t input sensitive information on websites that don’t use HTTPS.
●    Always turn off Bluetooth on your device when you don’t need it.
●    Use a password manager to generate strong passwords and store them.
●    Reduce your digital footprint and use privacy features on social media sites.
●    Beware of social engineering attacks.
●    Always be cautious because nothing on the internet is a hundred percent secure.

 

Conclusion

The increase in data breaches globally or in India is unlikely to stop. Each year, hackers discover more attack vectors to use for gaining unauthorized access to computer systems. The best way to protect yourself from unwanted attacks is to be proactive and cybersecurity conscious. Above, we have shown you several ways you can protect your data from hackers. Taking action will prevent you from being a vulnerable target to hackers.

Disclaimer: No Deccan Chronicle journalist was involved in creating this content. The group also takes no responsibility for this content.

 

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