Assessing your Data Security

Assessing your Data Security

Your life is fueled by data. Data is estimated that in 2020, the average person will generate 1.5 megabytes of data each second. With each search, click and swipe we sprinkle and leave a little bit of data behind us either personally or professionally online.This data can be used to tell our story, share what we bought, what we wrote and what we’ve filmed and photographed. And just as we work to generate our own data, we also receive data in countless ways. This is the never ending ballet of the information age.

You have agency over your own security and how your data is used and accessed. Within the past five years 45 percent of Americans have reported data compromises; it is important to be informed and aware of your security options and what it all means. There are some universal standards and practices for internet and data security but that only goes so far. Below are a few things to think about and implement.

With security breaches happening more and more each day, do you happen to know all the various websites and apps that you might have an account with? It is important to do an assessment of where your information may be. Ask yourself the following questions: Does that data need to be there (like a recurring subscription, photos in the cloud, etc)? What purpose does it serve? Do you feel OK with your data being stored there? Think about how secure the password currently is. Should you change it? These are all important factors to think about as you try to cast an outside view of your security practices.

Take your list of websites and think about the options they offer for security. Big websites like Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. offer a wide array of account recovery and authentication features. Services such as Two Factor Authentication, where when you log in, a number of techniques could be used to prove it is really you that is logging in. You can be sent a code, a notification to an app where you approve the log in, a phone call, etc. You usually have a short amount of time to enter the correct code before it expires, or you’ll have to do it again. This gives you just an extra layer of control over others trying to access your account. It may be a bit of a pain, but the extra step is worth the security.

As you map out your data and continue to use the internet, there are some tools that can help you keep information secure. There are several great extensions for Google Chrome here. These can help you have a smoother browsing experience. For example, Last Pass keeps all of your passwords secure and will insert them into the proper fields of websites you visit. This also makes using a different password for each website very convenient, further enhancing your security. Keeping your applications up to date also helps protect against possible threats.

Through reflecting on and enhancing your data security, you are able to become a more informed user and protect your information. Hopefully this post helps you as you think about where your data is stored and how secure it is.