6 data protection tips for employees

In a world where cyberattacks take place on a daily basis, data protection has never been more important. In this blog we give you an overview of some actions you can take to protect your personal or business information.

1. Watch out for phishing attacks

Whoever has not heard about phishing attacks, has probably been living under a rock for the last years. It’s a wide known and often used practice of hackers to obtain your personal information or money.

Hackers make use of malicious links or attachments in emails.

Therefore always be cautious when clicking an unknown link or attachment, even when the sender does not look suspicious because hackers sometimes put a lot of effort in looking legitimate to increase their chances of ‘success’.

Want to know more on how to recognize a phishing attack? Than be sure to read this blog.

2. Learn yourself to use strong passwords and/or passphrases

It’s not easy. Choosing and remembering a unique, strong password for every account that you make. Unfortunately, it is an absolute must to protect your data from hackers. But we bring good news! Have you ever heard of password generators and password managers?

Password generators help you to generate random, strong passwords for your accounts. You can even select which elements should be added to your password such as capital letters, special characters and numbers.

Password managers on the other hand help you to store (and ‘remember’) these random, generated passwords in a secure way. You only have to remember one password to get access to all the other passwords saved in your personal manager. If you need to share some passwords with other people for personal or professional use, you both need to remember the general password and you’re good to go. So no more excuses to use the same, easy to remember passwords.

Want to know more about strong passwords? Read this blog about passwords and passphrases.

3. Don't share your whole life on social media

You will be surprised of what people with bad intentions can do with the information shared on your social media accounts. Think about mail addresses, important locations, relatives, hobbies,… and so on. It may not seem such a big deal to you when you post a picture of yourself on the beach in Spain but for the person with bad intentions this can be a green light to break into your home when you’re enjoying your vacation.

4. Dont't store important information without a password

Many people store their personal or work related information and passwords on a computer, smartphone, tablet,.. in a word doc, excel file or even a sticky note. Of course this is not safe at all. This information can easily be stolen when you leave one of your devices unattended or when a hacker manages to get access to your data.

5. Nothing is free

Have you seen a great, free application for your smartphone? Be aware that nothing is free! In exchange for the use of this application you probably have to make an account or grant access to your user behavior, location, Facebook profile,… Take your time to read the privacy policy before you blindly accept terms & conditions before installing it on your device.

6. Use a VPN for all work related tasks

Virtual Private Network or in short ‘VPN’, establishes a secure connection between your device and the internet. Not only laptops or desktops can use a VPN connection, it is also possible with smartphones and tablets.

When you’re connected with a VPN, all your data traffic is being encryptedand is thus not readable for third parties. This makes a VPN connection the ideal way to surf on the internet privately and securely.

Be aware that even though a VPN connection puts on an extra layer of protection against cyberattacks, you’re not 100% protected. It is still possible that you get hacked when hackers got access to your login in the past or when you click on a phishing link for example. Caution is also needed here!

Protection of personal and business data starts with yourself. Therefore, educate yourself about the possible risks and common used threats. By doing this, you will know the best practices to protect your data against cybercriminals and you will know where to look for when receiving an suspicious email. Feeling the need for a security training within your company? Than be sure to highlight the importance of a well-educated team when proposing to your boss(es).