McAfee believes the cost of cybercrime globally is around $1 trillion per year, accounting for around 1% of our total GDP. According to experts, the cybercrime environment will cost the world an average of $10.5 trillion by the time we reach 2025. Further inputs from IBM show us that the average cost of a data breach was around $3.68 million in 2020. This increased to $3.61 million in hybrid cloud environments in 2021. The average time to identify a breach in 2020 took around 207 days. The longer the delay in identifying a breach, the more it costs to fix it.
The personal information that we share online is a valuable commodity, and identity thieves know how to use this information to their advantage. A stolen credit card number might get you a couple of hundred dollars at most, but the person who stole it can use it in all sorts of other nefarious ways. They can take out loans, open up new accounts, and even commit tax fraud. The best way to protect your data from hackers is by preventing them from stealing your information in the first place. As commonplace as this may sound, recent data shows us that around 95% of all cybersecurity incidents and security breaches are caused by human error. Information security Joplin has abundant resources on how individuals and organizations can protect themselves from hackers online. Here are the key steps you must take to protect your data from hackers:
5 Key Steps to Protect Your Data from Hackers
Never access sensitive personal or financial data on public Wi-Fi
There are two types of public Wi-Fi. The first type is the one you connect to at a cafe, hotel or airport, where you know there are other people around but don’t know exactly who they are or what their intentions are. The second type is more dangerous: it’s a network that has been specifically set up for public use on an open network but has no security measures in place to prevent unauthorized access to your device.
If you’re using tech in a public space like this and want to keep your information secure, here’s how not to get hacked:
- If possible, never use public Wi-Fi for anything personal—especially not banking or shopping sites. This is especially true if it’s unsecured WPA2 wireless (see below).
- If someone approaches your device while it’s connected via hotspot/tethering and asks if they can use their own device as well since theirs doesn’t work properly—or any other suspicious activity—disconnect immediately!
Turn off GPS, wireless connection and geo-tracking
You may want to turn off your GPS because it can be used by hackers to track your location. Disable your phone’s GPS whenever you don’t need to use it. Turn off location services for apps that don’t need it. If you don’t need an app’s GPS coordinates, turn off their access to location services in your settings. Additionally, if you’re using a social media app that automatically posts where you are when you check in somewhere (like Facebook), this can be a way for hackers to learn where you are at any given time. In addition to turning off the geolocation feature on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices, consider disabling location services in apps like Google Maps or Uber.
Use trusted apps
The first thing you can do to protect yourself from hackers is to use trusted apps. If you see an app on your device that you don’t recognize, you should delete it immediately. Always read app reviews before installing it. Additionally, make sure your phone is updated with the latest security patches so that hackers won’t be able to access your personal information through malware. IT Support Joplin offers end-to-end security management solutions for local businesses that can prevent businesses from suffering data loss due to shadow IT.
Always double-check links and attachments
The best way to protect yourself from a phishing attack is to never click on links in emails or attachments. If you receive an email with a link that looks suspicious, do not click on it. Hover over a link to double-check the address and verify it. If for some reason you do, immediately delete the email and report it as spam. Be careful with links and attachments sent via email or text message. Hackers can send malicious links through these avenues; be sure to only click on links if they come from someone you know and trust (like the person who sent them). Also keep in mind that malware could arrive in the form of attachments, so avoid opening attachments unless they come from someone whose identity you’ve confirmed beforehand.
You may also want to take more drastic measures if your computer has been infected with ransomware and you suspect that hackers are trying to gain access to your data. If this happens, shut down all other internet-connected devices and disconnect from Wi-Fi before deleting any files from your computer’s hard drive.
Use remote wipe if the device is lost or stolen
If your device is lost or stolen, you can use a remote wipe to erase all data on it. The target device must be connected to the internet in order for this feature to work, but most desktop and mobile systems have this ability. You should also use passwords or encryption on everything important stored on the device so hackers can’t access the data even if they manage to steal the device. For more information on how to better protect your local business in Joplin, consider reaching out to security experts at IT Consulting Joplin.
James Richards is a serial jelly bean eater with over 30 years of experience in the Information Technology industry. Growing up around the first generation of home computers, he always had a strong interest in technology and is continually grateful to be in a profession that he honestly enjoys. James is a problem solver who’s vision to provide quality is the foundation of Stronghold Data. His goal is to deliver solutions for customers that truly impress them with the outcome. His authenticity and compassion for his team and clients extends into the community with his active leadership roles.