Don’t wait to improve your data security. Here’s how you can take charge of your data protection today.

How safe are you from cyber criminals?  You may have basic virus protection software, or if you run a business, you warn your employees not to open suspicious email attachments.  Strong security goes beyond the bare minimum.  Make sure you’re taking every possible measure to protect sensitive data today.

Change Passwords Often

You change your oil in your car to keep it running.  The same principle applies here: change passwords often to significantly lower your risk for a data breach.

Test Your Security

Run a network scan to make sure your connections are secure.  Check around outside and see if anyone has a clear view of your computer monitors.  If you’re really ambitious, look through your waste baskets to get a preview of what a dumpster diver might find.  Yes, data security includes physical documents as well.

Have a Plan

Identify your information assets, classify your assets, run a risk assessment, and then determine the risks you’re willing to accept.  Backup your data, and have a backup for your backup. There is no going overboard when it comes to data security.

Teach Good Practices

Your security plan should be confidential, but that doesn’t mean you keep it a secret from your own staff.  Incorporate security into your employee training program.

Destroy Old Hard Drives

Obsolete machines do not belong in the trash. Just as you would check your waste baskets for possible breaches, check your old hard drives for what may be left behind. A data thief would love nothing more than to harvest your data, whether it is personal or business, and use that information to their advantage.  Hard drives are valuable commodities and are resold through the secondary markets over and over, so it’s important your data is not going out with the trash.  The only safe and secure way to get rid of a hard drive is to completely destroy it.  Physical hard drive destruction is typically done through a hard drive shredder, which has enough pounds per square inch of force to completely destroy the drive and make unusable.

Don’t take risks with your data.  The data you collect can be just as valuable as the physical assets of your business or personal life.  Just as you wouldn’t leave the doors to your house or office unlocked, you shouldn’t leave the door open for cyber criminals, either. Protect yourself today.

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