Steps to Protect Yourself from Data Breaches

The data breach problem is growing, as data breaches are on the rise. Cybercriminals attack all kinds of companies and individuals, with both strong or weak cybersecurity systems, to damage their reputation, get access to personal data, and cause financial damage. 

It is essential to take care of your personal data and take every precautionary measure to stay safe from these data breaches. To do so, you can start by taking some small yet meaningful steps. 

These are some of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself from data breaches: 

  1. Keep an eye on your accounts. 

Keep a record and log that you maintain separately to see if there has been any suspicious activity on your accounts. Accounts here refer to your online presence and even the ones that are connected to bank accounts. If you feel something is off, and you cannot track activity in your log, contact the authorities immediately so they can take action to help you from losing sensitive information or money. 

  1. Set up the option of freezing your account. 

Be vigilant while dealing with various kinds of accounts. If you become a victim of identity theft, freeze your accounts and all other assets. By freezing the account, you will restrict the loss of information or money and will be able to protect it from any further damage or loss. 

You can either contact the company directly or file a report to ensure that action is taken as quickly as possible. An investigation will likely be done, and if the hacker is caught, you can recover some of the intellectual property that you lost in the attack. 

  1. Use complex passwords.

Another good way to protect yourself from these attacks is to use complex passwords for all your accounts. We tend to use the same passwords for many of the accounts we have, so we don’t have too much to remember. Sometimes the passwords we use are so easy that anyone can guess them. Do not make this mistake. Use complex passwords, so the hacker, even if trying to get access to your account, will fail to do so, and you will get notified immediately. Even if the hacker does get access to one of your accounts, the rest will be safe, and you take timely action. 

  1. Be very careful of the calls and messages you receive. 

People also use phishing activities to conduct data breaches by trying to get your personal information from you through calls and messages. Be very careful when you receive any calls or messages from a company. If you are unsure whether you should even open a message, contact your relative company and ask them if they contacted you. If not, then report the email, calls, or messages that you received in their name. Moreover, do not share any personal information over the phone with anyone unless you are 100 percent sure you are speaking to the legitimate company. 

  1. Set Up Alerts.

Setting up alerts can help in notifying you when there is any malicious activity going on. These notifications are timely and can warn you so you can take steps to protect yourself from further damage. 

  1. Use multifactor Authentication.

Using multifactor authentication helps because it only allows access to an account after two or more pieces of evidence are provided that prove your identity, such as a password and a code. The code or password is sent to the user by either phone, text, or email to ensure that the same person who owns the account is the one trying to access the account. If the password or code entered is incorrect, the person will be unable to access the account. Moreover, the account owner is also notified.  

Key Takeaway

If proper steps are not taken to ensure your safety, there is a good chance that someone will attempt to steal sensitive information from you and possibly cause financial damage.  

So, make sure you have the right numbers with you to call for help and that you stay alert at all times, for your protection. 

What Is the Impact of Data Breaches?

Data breaches are happening worldwide, where sensitive data is being leaked, causing trouble for people in various ways. Although great attention is being paid to making data security stronger, cybercriminals are still finding ways around the latest methods.

Sadly, they gain access to valuable and sensitive data and later sell it online in exchange for heaps of money. Cybercriminals use malware, supply chain attacks, or other social engineering techniques to access information. 

What is a Data Breach?

A data breach is when sensitive, confidential, and protected data are exposed to unauthorized people. The information is viewed and used without proper permission and authorization.

While everyone is at severe risk of a data breach, from individuals to high-level enterprises and governments, especially at a time when everything has gone digital and is available online, nearly anyone can perform a data breach.

The most common causes of data breaches are weaknesses in technology and user behavior. Because computers and mobile devices can connect to the internet in various ways that lack even minimal security, the avenues for data breaches have increased simultaneously. Features such as lack of encryption give hackers many advantages. People are valuing convenience over security, and it is becoming difficult to protect them. Companies are also being negatively affected and have to face the impact of data breaches.

Impact of Data Breaches

There are different impacts of these data breaches, some of which are irreversible, and others that can cause a level of damage that requires a notable amount of time to recover from. 

  1. Loss of Revenue

One of the most significant impacts of data breaches is the loss of revenue. Research shows that data breaches almost always cost a loss of revenue. This can cause companies money by compensating affected customers, investigating the data breach, investing in new security measures, and paying legal fees to protect themselves and the company from any further revenue loss. 

  1. Damage to the Company Reputation

The subsequent impact that data breaches cause, after the loss of revenue, is damage to the company’s reputation. This can be a long-term effect on the reputation of the brand, putting the name at stake. 

The leaking of confidential content, such as emails, is also damaging to the company’s reputation. 

After a breach, people who one associated with your company because of its good reputation will lose that trust, which can cost you their business. New customers who considered working with you earlier will show resistance and hesitate to do any business with you at all. 

  1. Loss of Intellectual Property

Obviously, the loss of revenue that took you a long time to generate, and the long-term damage to the company’s reputation is injurious. However, another noticeable impact is the loss of intellectual property.

Sometimes competitors hire cybercriminals to get data that might include designs, blueprints, or even strategies related to an important project. Construction and manufacturing businesses are particularly vulnerable to this type of attack, but this does not mean that smaller businesses are safe. 

Be very careful with your intellectual property because it can give your rivals a competitive advantage if stolen. However, anyone can take advantage of your stolen property. 

  1. Online Vandalism 

Not all attacks are dangerous, but they can be damaging in different ways. While the hacker attacking your business might not be looking to cause severe damage, he might be looking to play some prank, such as hoping to make changes on your website. 

It might seem harmless, but even these minor changes can damage your company, especially if the hacker adds vulgar content to your website or an inappropriate message. 

Key Takeaway

It might seem difficult to protect yourself against these attacks because of so much exposure, but you can still take specific steps to protect yourself from hacking attempts and ensure that you are safe from all kinds of data breaches. 

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