What is a data breach?
Put simply, a data breach is a breach of security that results in the loss of, and access to an individual’s personal data. This form of cyber crime can be experienced directly to a consumer’s personal account, and within a company’s online system.
So what can I do to protect myself?
In order to protect yourself against data breaches when using online services, keeping your identity, personal finances and credit score can be achieved quite simple if you keep the following in mind….
Whether it’s a personal attack or done through your business, there are many ways you can protect yourself and your data, such as:
- Change your passwords regularly – This can decrease the likelihood of someone being able to hack in to your online accounts.
- Keep passwords updated and strong – Using special characters, numbers and letters can instantly decrease the likelihood of hacking and data breaches.
- Where possible, use two-factor authentication (2FA) in order to further protect your account. This requires a security code that is sent directly to your mobile device to be able to log in.
- If you have trouble remembering all of your different passwords, try using a password manager such as Lastpass. This software allows you to keep all of your passwords secure by remembering only one password.
- Keep a close eye on finances – If you regularly check your accounts, you can spot discrepancies quickly and rectify them with your bank’s fraud team
- Take action if any online platform happens to be involved in a data breach – You will usually be contacted regarding a data leak if you have been affected. A good source of information for this is the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) – https://ico.org.uk/.
- If you want to ensure you are extra protected against these forms of data breaches, identity theft protection services are an option to keep your identity secure. These are a more costly option, but one you might want to invest in if you’ve ever been the victim of a catastrophic breach. Services from providers such as Experian and Norton might be options worth looking into.