Data breaches occur when sensitive and private information is stolen by hackers. Being aware of the risk of data breaches these days is absolutely necessary, especially since they seem to occur more often than ever before. And the good news is that there are steps you can take to protect your data as much as possible. By doing so, you can help reduce the odds that your personal details will be stolen by criminals. Check out the tips below to get started.
Use protective software on your computers and devices
One of the ways that you can protect yourself from a data breach is by installing the right software that will help protect your data as good as possible against various types of attacks that hackers can try to use to get into your system. It’s also a good idea to go with software that will not only protect but also encrypt your data and sensitive information.
Regain control over where your personal information is found
You might be surprised to discover that there are a lot of websites that have your personal information on display for anyone to see. Think of people search websites as one example. You can type in anyone’s name and gather a lot of details, from contact information to background information, on these sites. So, if you find that your info is on those sites, it’s a good idea to request removal.
One popular people search site is PeopleFinders, so go there to see if your information is available for anyone to find. If it is, go to the PeopleFinders opt out page to request that the data be removed.
Another site that’s worth checking is Spokeo because it’s a popular option for those who want to dig up information about someone else. Once again, if you uncover that your information is on that site, go to the Spokeo opt out instructions.
Want to be sure you find all the people search sites that are hosting your info? A simple search on Google can help you figure out where you need to go. For example, though you might not know about Radaris, Google might reveal that you should also head to the Radaris opt out section to ensure they no longer host your personal information.
Beware of phishing scams
Data breaches don’t always happen when hackers are able to get into your computer or device; they can also occur when you accidentally give away your personal information to the wrong people. A good example is the phishing scam. This is a tactic that criminals use to trick you into giving away your personal details, such as your Social Security number, an account number, a password, and more.
Phishing scams can come to you in the form of an email, but text messages are also used. Although these messages appear totally legitimate at first, they actually aren’t. For example, an email might look like it’s from a company that you have an account with, and it will ask you to click a link to verify information to resolve a problem. At that point, you’d end up giving away valuable information without realizing it. Therefore, taking steps to verify that a message is legitimate, such as by contacting the business directly, is wise.
Protecting yourself against data breaches is important, and we hope the information above has helped shed some light on how you can do just that.
Robert Haynes did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health and well-being.