With so much of our lives happening on mobile devices and laptops, it is no wonder our digital accounts have become a magnet for cyber-criminals. Malicious attacks against individuals, companies are more and more common and there are no signs that cybercrime is slowing down!
Everyone handles personal data in one way or another, but it is not often we consider the consequences of getting it wrong.
What is personal data?
Personal data is any information that relates to an identified or identifiable individual. This could be as simple as a name or a number or it could even be an IP address. More about personal data could be found on the University's data classification page.
Do you ever consider what you can do to protect data?
Some practical steps you can take to tighten security around your data are:
Use strong passwords
- Take care when working remotely
- Be wary of suspicious email
- Ensure your anti-virus and malware is up to date
- Do not leave paperwork or your machine unattended or unlocked
- Make sure your Wi-Fi is secure
But why do we need to use strong passwords?
Passwords provide the first line of defence against unauthorised access, therefore the stronger your password, the more protected you will be from hackers and malicious software.
Did you know?
- A terrifying 13 per cent of people use the same password for all their accounts and devices.
- 48 per cent of workers use the same passwords in both their personal and work accounts.
- Compromised passwords are responsible for 81 per cent of hacking-related breaches.
Keeping your accounts secure
To make your account even more secure, use multi-factor authentication (MFA) where possible. MFA provides an extra layer of security, ensuring that people trying to gain access to an online account are who they say they are.
MFA involves two checks to identify the user. Firstly, the user will have to enter their username and password. Then, instead of automatically gaining access, they will be required to provide another piece of information. This second factor could come from one of the following categories:
- Something you know
- Something you have
- Something you are
With MFA, even if your password is compromised, the chances of someone having access to your second-factor is highly unlikely.
More information and training
These areas are all covered in the Information Security and Data Privacy awareness training course to remind you of best practices and support you in keeping yourself and the data you handle secure.