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Protect Your Data: 4 Tips to Help Keep Your Data Safe

Mark Dalton - Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Online data breaches regularly make the news with high profile cases sure to hit the headlines, whether that it a large company or individuals such as Hollywood A list celebs.

In a world in which so much of our personal and business information is stored, saved and transferred online, such incidences serve as a reminder that we need to be particularly vigilant when it comes to ensuring that those sensitive documents aren’t compromised by some of the more unscrupulous elements of society.

Of course, whilst none of us wish for private data to be hacked, it’s also of critical concern for the I.T. departments of businesses, large or small.

It doesn’t matter if it’s classified legal documents at a global law firm or a business proposal for a small, regional business in Surrey, the fact is we all want to do our utmost to ensure that our data is as safe as it can be.

Which is why it would always be advisable to remain vigilant, on guard and adoptive of certain measures that can help with that protection.

Encrypt Your Database

Using a form of encryption to protect sensitive material is a method that’s been around for a great deal longer than the internet. From hidden messages in ancient scripts to the protection of wartime secrets, encryption has been the adoption of a cipher to hide the material in whatever document you are storing.

In I.T. this can be achieved by adopting an encryption cipher to your database which makes the data inaccessible to those without the decryption code (the algorithm which allows access to the document).

Keep a track on your passwords

It might seem like common sense but with so many passwords to manage it's tempting to make them easy to remember, which can also make them vulnerable to misuse.

It might be worth taking a few minutes for a quick tour of your office - are passwords stuck on PCs on post it notes in full view of colleagues or customers?

Make your passwords as secure as possible – using your daughter’s birth date might not be the most elaborate password out there. A combination of symbols, letter (mixing higher and lower case) and numbers can make it harder for those looking to hack into your systems. It’s also a good strategy to make changes to your passwords at regular intervals.

In a work environment when protecting the security of your business database, then having multiple layers of password protection can also provide a more robust barrier. 

Ensure your Virus and Malware Software is up to date and working

Viruses and malware can be a particularly common source for compromised data. Therefore it’s really import that you or your I.T. support ensure that you have a robust defence against such nasties through virus and malware software programmes. A good virus protection software is invaluable when it comes to data protection online and a powerful first line of defence against attacks on your system.

Alongside this you should also be ensuring that your firewalls are working to securely control any incoming traffic that may pose a potential threat.

Have a suitable Disaster Plan in place

Despite our best efforts, things still may have the potential to go wrong. Which is why it’s critical you have a plan in effect so that you can make the best of the worst case scenario.

Disaster planning is something you can have implemented and supported by your I.T. support services. This can be through storing data on a backup service; a cloud or external storage source or similar measures so that your data can be recovered should there be a breach or breakage in the system.

Want to know how we help our clients keep their data safe and make the most out of IT? Download our information pack.

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