Data Protection

Data Protection

Think of a data protection advisor as the gatekeeper of personal information. Every time you input your name, address, contact details and, yes, financial information into a computer (or tablet, or smartphone), you are implicitly trusting that it won’t be replicated or abused. Why? Because you have faith in an unseen army of data protection advisors who exist to keep that information safe and private. Ideally, the average internet user will never have to think too much about the ins and outs of their data protection – after all, there are federal laws in place to protect the sharing of private information, and the data security market is set to be worth more than $8bn by 2020. Every laptop comes with built-in virus protection, and there is an infinite selection of free protection software available on the internet.

But that doesn’t mean that we should be complacent about our privacy and protection. There are a few different types of data protection that every internet user should be aware of:
  • Network data protection: This refers to ‘networked’ computers, which are usually used in offices and by multi-national corporations. The network will generally be connected to a common server, or a bank or servers, which could be stored either within the building or remotely, and there will probably be a wireless cloud application in place as well. This makes network data protection extremely tricky, as there are multiple points of vulnerability, and one data breach could quickly affect the entire network. For this reason, most companies have a dedicated team of IT professionals whose job it is to constantly test and secure the network in order to keep confidential information safe.
  • Back-up data protection: We’ve had it drilled into us since our school days – back up EVERYTHING! But even once your personal information is safely ensconced on an external hard drive, it can still be vulnerable to data protection breaches. If your computer or network has been hacked or otherwise compromised, by plugging in your back-up drive to the USB port you could be placing it at risk. The best way to protect the data on your back-up drive is to keep the drive in a separate location to your main computer, and ensure that your computer is in good health.
  • PC data protection: This is the type of data protection which most of us are familiar with. Luckily there are a number of ways to protect your personal devices. First and foremost, make sure you have good malware and virus protectors installed on your PC, and update them regularly (no matter how inconvenient it may be). Use different passwords for every account, and tell NO-ONE what they are. And finally, be aware of cybersecurity threats and phishing scams which are designed to steal your personal information without you even knowing.
Storage data protection: Most individuals and companies use a data storage service, whether it is an iCloud account, an external storage site such as DropBox, or standalone servers (hello, Hillary Clinton). The chances are, your most valuable information will be sent here for safekeeping, so it is particularly important that they are kept safe. As before, use

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