What is a data breach?
You might have noticed that when you start talking about digital security the term “data breach” keeps coming up. If you keep up with the news you might have also heard about numerous scandals regarding data breaches. To bring up another example, from time to time you might even receive personal emails notifying you that your account has been breached. Depending on how much you know about the said data breaches you might start to panic or you might discard it as yet another small glitch. In reality, data breaches are a serious problem, but the one that can be avoided. Here’s everything you need to know about data breaches and how to protect yourself from them.
Data Breach Definition
A data breach is when your information, specifically the online data is accidentally or intentionally leaked. This might occur because of a mistake on a company’s part, or it might happen as a result of a cyber-attack. The data in question, for example, names, emails, financial details, passwords, and usernames are extremely valuable to cybercriminals. Your data could be used to make purchases or in worst-case scenarios, to steal your identity. This is why if you ever receive an email, notifying you that your data has been breached, it is definitely worrisome.
In a perfect world, it is the company’s responsibility to make sure that this never happens. But as we have seen over the last couple of years, data breaches have only become more common.
Here’s why it is becoming increasingly evident that individuals should do their part when setting up their online accounts and make sure that their data is as protected as possible.
Why do data breaches happen
Data breaches can happen for multiple reasons. One of the most common causes is Malware, a malicious code that spreads throughout the system and retrieves all the data, sending it back to the servers that are run by hackers. Cybercriminals often use emails as a way to trick people into clicking the link which will onset the Malware.
But in other cases, data breaches are accidental and happen because we are not careful enough or organized enough when it comes to our internet security. You would be surprised to learn how many people have weak passwords or reuse their one password for every single account they make. This makes cyberattacks much easier. Data breaches also happen as a result of a technical error.
To put it shortly, there is no shortage of factors that can lead to a data breach. No one is completely safe from data breaches, but there are tools that can help us protect our data and online identity. Here are some of the best options for avoiding data breaches.
How to avoid data breaches 🔒
First and foremost, use secure websites. This might seem obvious but the first step to avoiding data breaches is only interacting with secure websites. The way to tell whether or not a website is secure is by looking at the link. It should always start with https:// instead of http://. The “s” at the end of https stands for security, so keep an eye out for it.
Another step you can take is to create strong passwords or change the existing ones to more secure combinations. Your passwords should be as complicated as possible, they should include special characters and symbols, should use numbers, but preferably non-sequential ones. You should also have different passwords for all your accounts. It is very likely that if one of your accounts gets compromised, whoever might be behind the attack will use that one password to try to get into all the other accounts and if you use one password, then you will end up with multiple compromised accounts. So make sure you have different passwords for reach and every one of your accounts.
If you find it difficult to memorize overly complicated passwords or just want to find a better way to manage them, you can use password management tools that will keep you and your accounts safe and organized. These tools will also help you generate the safest password combinations for all of your accounts.
Another tip we have for increased online security is to update your computer and mobile device regularly. While those update notifications can get annoying, they are essential to make sure that you are protected from possible breaches. You might not always be able to tell what’s different with the particular update visually, but it is not just about the looks it is also about the security. These updates are meant to update the tools that protect our devices against attacks from hackers and cybercriminals.
Another way to ensure online safety is to use a VPN this way your online activity can not be traced back to you. If you input your personal details into the account and it gets breached, of course, VPN won’t be able to help. But to make sure that the companies are not using your data against you when you browse online - use a solid VPN. BlufVPN has multiple payment plans and all the necessary features to make browsing safe and anonymous.
Security and privacy are becoming more and more important, especially as data breaches become more common. It’s important that we take control of our online security, at least as much as we can. No one system or tool will protect you 100%, but having multiple layers of defense is definitely better than solely relying on service providers alone to do their job.
Data breaches are likely here to stay, and they might even become more and more frequent as we move parts of our daily lives into digital spaces. This means that the data breaches will also become more risky and impactful so it’s crucial that we protect ourselves and our personal data. Using multiple mechanisms to secure your data and online browsing history is the best way to go about it.