Internet data security refers to techniques used to protect activities and transactions online. These techniques protect users’ data from threats that can infect and damage systems. They also protect users from identity theft by hackers and cyber-criminals.
Internet data security reduces risks associated with online data storage. Organizations have the moral and legal obligation to protect their clients’ data. Financial institutions, for instance, are subject to Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. PCI DSS demands that companies take necessary measures to protect user data.
People across the world rely on new data-driven services and products. This is the same case with governments. Defense and national security officials are more dependent on data-driven services. As a result, we have all become vulnerable to data theft, misuse, and hacking. To protect ourselves, countries have to devise a comprehensive approach to this issue.
The United States devised a strategy that has strengthened its cyber resilience. The government created The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) framework. This framework protects a part of the utility infrastructure of the United States.
NERC standards carry the force of regulation. They are mandatory for all entities to whom it applies and cover a wide range of categories. The NERC Critical Infrastructure Protection standards apply to cybersecurity aspects. They also apply to the Bulk Electric System’s efficiency and reliable supply.
CIP deals with prior planning and preparation within organizations and government agencies. It also deals with threats to the functioning of national and regional infrastructure. North America has a bulk power supply system. NERC CIP standards define its reliability requirements for planning, operating, and protection.
Data Security Measures to Take on the Internet
1. Data Back-up
Digital data is irreplaceable. For that reason, it’s important to back it up. It helps save both your personal and professional life. It ensures data is accessible in case of deletion, corruption, and ransomware attacks
There are three types of backup. The full backups, differential backups, and incremental backups.
- A full backup is a complete type of backup. It ensures the cloning of all data. It takes a longer time compared to other types of data backups. That’s because it backs up everything in one go. The beauty about it is that it requires minimal time to restore data.
- Differential backup involves backing up of created or changed data. It’s the backup that’s done after the full backup. It allows faster restoration of data than the full backup.
- Incremental backup happens when an amount of data is too voluminous for a full backup every day. It only copies changed or created data since the last backup activity.
2. Establish Strong Passwords
A strong password is another measure you can use to improve your security on the internet. It prevents unauthorized individuals from accessing your data. It ensures the security of all your accounts and sensitive information. Put together a combination of upper and lower-case letters, symbols, and numbers. This will give you a strong password.
Weak passwords are one of the reasons for data security breaches. Avoid the use of your birthday as a password. Personal information makes it easy for hackers to gain access and control of your device. Reset your passwords periodically to ensure the security of your data.
3. Prepare For Cyber Threats
When it comes to data security, it’s safer to think ahead. Put in place a solid cyber-security policy. It should encompass current and potential future threats. Have in mind both internal and external threats. Consider employing software that can provide real-time monitoring and alerts of suspicious activities.
This will enable you to detect possible security breaches and misconfigurations. You will also be able to detect access to sensitive data and alerts on privilege escalations.
4. Evade Tracking
Browsers disclose a lot of information about you and your surfing history. Marketers use this information to profile you and target you with ads. You can do the following to evade the tracking.
- Delete temporary browser files. This makes it harder for tools like cache and web browsing history to profile you. These tools enable online trackers to find the websites you visit and your interests. Deleting your browser history will protect you.
- Block web trackers. Special programs and extensions like AdBlock plus prevent social networks from tracking you. Extensions like Disconnect, uBlock Origin, and Ghostery block trackers and social networks surveillance.
- Use private search engines. Search engines like Swisscows, Gibiru, start page, and DuckDuckGo are private. They do not transfer information about you to advertising networks.
Authentication ensures the identification of users before they access data. After identification, the technology verifies the user’s credentials. This helps to boost data security and protects against data breaches.
Some authentication processes use a combination of ways to identify an authorized user. They do this by use of PINS, passwords, security tokens, swipe cards, or biometrics. Authentication is easier through single sign-on technology. With one security token, an authenticated user can access many systems and applications
6. Leverage Existing Security Options
Some applications come with security features. Entrepreneurs devote significant resources to delivering a safe environment for their clients. Find out about the security measures included in your software. Then use them in conjunction with other security you have put in place to protect your data.
Technologies help bring distributed teams together. They allow employees to work from anywhere and at any time. This helps to boost productivity. But make sure that these technologies are secure.
7. Data Risk Assessment
This allows an organization to discover its most overexposed and sensitive data. It also provides reliable and repeatable steps to prioritizing serious security threats. This process begins by identifying sensitive data that’s accessed through global groups. It also identifies stale data and data with inconsistent permissions.
The data risk assessment summarizes important findings and exposes vulnerabilities. It also includes prioritized remediation proposals.
8. Keep Your Main Email Address and Phone Number Private
Avoid sharing your phone number and email address on social networks. If you must share, consider having a separate phone number and e-mail address for such cases.
Find yourself an alternative SIM card and create a different email account. You can use these alternative contacts for online services such as shopping.
9. Anti-virus Protection
Antivirus programs protect devices against known threats. Its effectiveness depends on how often it’s updated. Some antivirus programs rely on databases of known viruses. They use these viruses to compare with the programs on a user’s device. Malicious programs are then deleted.
Traditional anti-virus programs’ restriction is that they only protect against known threats. Meaning that the program can fail to detect a cooked-up malicious code. As such, antivirus protection shouldn’t be the only protection against threats.
Online security breaches are common around the world. Some are minor while some are major and catastrophic. Hackers are always looking for vulnerabilities to exploit with the changing technologies. So there’s data exposure when networks are not secured.
For these reasons, government agencies and businesses should use skilled information analysts. They help to put in place security plans and always check the efficacy of those plans.
Data integrity has become a very important aspect for organizations. Good network security protects individuals and businesses from online threats.