The 5 Do Nots of Data Security

January 1st, 2015

Last week we encouraged you to do five things to keep your data safe. This week, we lay out five things that you should not do, for the sake of your data.

  1. Do not allow websites to remember your password. All too often, websites store your information insecurely, putting you at risk of data theft. If you struggle to recall your login credentials, use a password manager such as LastPass, 1Password, or Dashlane. PC Mag has a great write up on the benefits of password managers.We also covered password managers in our October Video Tech Tip:
  2. Do not write down your password. Password security simply cannot be emphasized enough. Keeping login information anywhere near your computer is a warm invitation for a thief to hop onto your computer and take what they wish. So put that post-it note back and employ a password manager with a rock solid master key.
  3. Do not open emails that arrive from an unknown sender. Be especially on guard if a strange email carries an attachment. Attachments are often malicious programs that wreak havoc once saved or even opened. Stay away from unsolicited emails. And if you don’t know already, Nigerian princes are not in any position to award you with their fortune.
  4. Do not take sensitive data home with you unencrypted, and be especially wary if you find yourself working in a public place such as an airport terminal or a restaurant. An insecure network could become compromised, thus surrendering your sensitive business data. Always make sure that portable storage devices (this means thumb drives) are encrypted.
  5. Do not click links from senders who claim to be your bank or financial institution. All too often, seemingly innocent links are subtly misspelled, tricking you into thinking they will lead to the real bank’s website. Watch for double letters or similar looking letters that may have been inserted: “Baank of America”, for example. Always type in URLs, since you will spell the URL correctly, and thus avoid the phishing trap.

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