Ensuring your data is secure is becoming more and more difficult, as RSA recently announced that it has been the victim of an ‘extremely sophisticated’ hack which managed to breach its security.
Whilst at the end of the September file sharing hit the headlines again. This time it wasn’t a simple “is file sharing bad?” debate,, but instead because data that the UK law firm ACS:Law Solicitors held had been leaked, mainly personal details of individuals provided by UK Internet service providers, and the files they are alleged to have downloaded illegally
This makes us consider how careful organisations need to be with our personal data and data of customers, suppliers and staff. Many companies don’t give it much thought, yet UK businesses hold (and transmit) huge amounts of personal data, bank details and customer records.
There are many things that both individuals and small businesses can do to reduce the risk of their data being lost or stolen, from simply ensuring you have a secure password, not something like secret, or password11 will instantly reduce your risk. It is also important to have a good and up to date Antivirus, such as Eset Smart Security, which will protect you from web and email attacks.
It’s also very easy to add passwords to important word and excel documents - in Office 2007 click the Office button, go to Prepare and then click Encrypt. You can now add a password to the document. If you are using OpenOffice, go to File, then Save As and ensure that Save with password is ticked.
Protecting memory sticks is also very important, so how can you ensure this data is encrypted? – How about a SafeStick? – SafeStick is a CCTM Government Certified file encryption memory stick, which features features military level hardware encryption of all data. – I’ve used a couple of these and they are very good, but if you forget your password, you can forget seeing your data again!
We all must take care of the data we provide to websites, as announced last night Play.com‘s marketing company has had a data breach, meaning “some customer names and email addresses may have been compromised”
Play.com advised users to be “vigilant” with their email, and asked users to forward “anything suspicious” to firstname.lastname@example.org for investigation.
So taking simple extra precautions will help to prevent people stealing your data and you protect other people’s data.