Data security is of great importance whether you are a journalist, whistleblower, investigator or a small company. While most people know that they need to protect their data, few take it seriously. To help you out, here are some of the most common data security mistakes that many people make and how to avoid them:
Failing to back up the information
Most people store their data on the cloud or on their devices. This isn’t enough. Your device can get damaged or lost. The cloud storage may also be tempered with. In addition to storing your data in these areas, you should also back it up in other devices such as external hard disks. To spread the risk, experts recommend that you avoid backing up all of your data in one device. For peace of mind, you should regularly test the backups to ensure that they are working perfectly.
Mixing personal and professional devices
This is a common mistake made by startups. Due to insufficient resources, most startups allow their employees to use their devices in the workplace. The employees use their phones and computers to handle work related projects. While this is highly convenient as the employees can carry the work home, it puts your data at risk. When an employee leaves the organization, he/she can still get access to the corporate information which is dangerous for your organization especially if the information is sensitive.
Not taking mobile security seriously
Due to the commonality of mobile phones, many people don’t take them seriously. Studies show that many people don’t recognize that mobile phones are a security threat to their information. There are many things that can go wrong with your mobile phone: someone can pick it and obtain your sensitive information, you can lose your phone or a hacker can get access to the information. Due to these risks, it’s imperative that you take the security of your device seriously. To keep off the regular snooper your phone should always have a password. To protect your data from hackers or when it gets lost you should install software that compartmentalizes your sensitive information.
Carelessly storing data
People will back up their information but fail to store it properly. One of the improper ways I have observed is people carrying sensitive data on a USB thumb drive. If you are like most people, you have the thumb drive in your car rings that you carry with you almost everywhere. If someone is interested in getting your information he/she only needs to get access to the thumb drive which is easy as you are always with it even in public areas. To protect your information you should store the device carrying sensitive information in a safe place and never carry it around. If you have to carry the drive with you, you should make heavy use of encryption. You should also make use of BitLocker, BitLocker, and other tools that offer additional protection.