Security breaches are more frightening than ever. The number of cyberattacks increased 33% in 2018 from the prior year.
Protecting online data is more essential than ever. Long gone are the days of household valuables and stacks of paper – in the 21st century, the most valuable thing that you own is your internet data.
There is also no sign that security breaches will slow down any time soon. Yesterday, Wappalyzer announced that it was the victim of a security breach. If major companies like this can be breached, then so can your personal data.
Your internet data has a myriad of different uses, and it can be gravely dangerous if the data exchanged on it falls into the wrong hands. You might not be aware of this, but most of your data is already online and in the public record.
You give away pieces of data every single time you browse the internet. Protecting your information is essential, as its misuse can result in numerous crises. Whether you’re worried about keeping your data safe or aren’t too keen on giving marketing professionals more information about you, you’re going to have to protect yourself.
How is Your Data Collected?
Since your internet data has many different uses, the collection of data comes in many ways. Some of the most common methods are the following:
Malware and viruses aren’t the same things. While viruses are self-replicating programs with malicious intent, malware programs consist of:
Particular types of malware collect your data and then sell it on the online black market. The founder of Silk Road was arrested in 2012, but black market sites on the dark web are still alive. However, the data is mostly used by advertisers to make targeted marketing strategies.
People aren’t aware of how much data they provide to their social media accounts. Social media accounts contain our pictures, personal data like addresses, and information about private events.
Specialized crawler tools collect data like this. These tools skim the internet for pieces of data they need and are readily used by search engines or researchers.
What Do Companies Use Your Data For?
Companies have a myriad of uses for your data. Most of them will use it for marketing purposes. Companies strive to sell products, and marketing is what sells products and services. If a company is looking to make a marketing strategy, they’re going to need insider knowledge of their targeted demographic.
One of the best ways that a company can understand its audience and target demographic is to collect, refine, and analyze as much data as possible. Not all pieces of data that companies accumulate are used outright.
When data is collected, it needs to be refined. In its first state, information is known as raw data. The refinement process consists of variability and redundancy removal from this raw data, thus creating something the company can use for their marketing efforts.
The Essential Protection Methods
If you’re looking for a way to protect your data, you’re going to need to employ the use of some data protection tools and methods, such as:
Every computer needs some form of antivirus software. Differently, than the name suggests, good antivirus software doesn’t only deal with viruses but with all kinds of malware. Reliable antivirus software will provide real-time protection for your PC and will allow you to browse the web without worrying about malware.
One of the best ways to protect yourself online is to browse the internet safely. Some places are unavoidable, but you should look out for certain red flags. The loose set of rules of safe internet browsing are:
- Don’t click on any unsolicited advertisements;
- If possible, avoid cookies;
- Install AdBlock software;
- Browse through trusted websites;
- Don’t accept any unwanted downloads;
- Activate privacy settings in your browser;
- Make sure your passwords are complex.
Perhaps the best way to protect your data, your PC, and yourself when you’re using your computer is to purchase the best VPN software on the market. A good VPN software should offer:
- High-speed uninterrupted performance;
- Unlimited bandwidth;
- Superb data encryption and protection;
- Strict no-logs policy;
- Netflix unlocking capabilities;
- Geo-restricted content unlocking capabilities.
A VPN is a great way to protect yourself even when you’re not browsing the web. A good VPN is an essential tool in any computer security arsenal.
Your data is one of the most valuable things you have, and protecting it is of the highest priority. If you want to protect your data, you need to make some changes to your internet browsing habits.
Safe internet browsing is only one step that needs to be taken, and you’re best off getting a good VPN and antivirus software to improve your cybersecurity.