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Think Your Data is Safe? 5 Surprising Reasons Why It Is Not

You can lose your data in many ways, and while some of them are unsurprising, like physically losing or breaking a device, many others are unpredictable. 

In this article, we’ll focus on the most strange and dangerous ways your data can get lost. Keeping data secure is important, after all, the world’s more valuable resource is no longer gold or oil, it is data. 

1. Phishing Emails: More Deceptive Than Ever

Recognizing Phishing Emails

During a phishing attack, hackers will try to fool people through email, text messages, phone calls, and other forms of online communication. 

Their main goal is to steal private data such as financial information, passwords, or other useful details. 

Phishing techniques involve psychological manipulation, cybercriminals pretend to be prestigious entities by imitating their websites or email templates. 

Their main purpose usually is to persuade people to click links, download or install files, and of course, share private information, like bank account numbers or credit card information. 

Once this information is in their hands, you can lose it, get stolen, or even blackmailed. 

How to Protect Yourself

  • Always check the sender’s email address: Look for anything odd. Even the small details can give you a clue about the sender. 
  • Hover over links: Before clicking, hover over links to see where they lead.
  • Use multi-factor authentication: This is easy and fast to do, you can activate authentication methods on almost every platform. 

2. Public Wi-Fi: Convenient But Dangerous

Even Public Wi-Fi can Be a Huge Risk

Sometimes it is inevitable to use them, they’re life-savers, especially if you are in an unknown place, but this is exactly what makes them dangerous. 

Open Wi-Fi hotspots are one of the favorite methods for hackers to attack, data is easy to access through a wifi network. Remember this is especially important because all devices can be corrupted when using public wifis, not only a computer. 

How to Protect From Open Wi-Fi Dangers

  • Avoid accessing sensitive information: If possible, avoid using any sensitive data such as your bank or your main email log-in credentials. 
  • Use a VPN: A VPN is perfect for this scenario because it will encrypt your data and make it harder for criminals to access your devices. This is a flexible tool, if you don’t want to use it daily, you can even turn off your VPN when you feel safe. 

3. Outdated Software: An Open Door for Hackers

You don’t want to skip those updates

We know they might be slow and use memory from your devices, but software updates are a huge deal when it comes to security. Maybe, you would never expect something so simple, like an update, to cause a data breach, and it won’t cause it directly, but it could make you an easy target for attacks. 

Keep all your tools and platforms up to date with the latest security patches and updates. Enable all automatic updates wherever possible to ensure that your software always runs the latest, most secure version.

4. Social Engineering: Manipulation Over Technology

What is Social Engineering?

Social engineering involves tricking you into revealing confidential information. This can happen over the phone, through emails, or even in person. 

Have you ever received a call from someone claiming to be tech support, asking for your login details? That was exactly a social engineering attempt.

How to Avoid Falling for Social Engineering

  • Verify identities: Always double-check the credentials of the person contacting you.
  • Be cautious with information: Don’t share personal details unless you’re sure who you’re talking to.
  • Educate yourself and others: Stay informed about common social engineering tactics.

5. Weak Passwords: Obvious but, somehow, ignored 

The Problem with Simple Passwords

Sorry if we are being too honest, but your phone number or your pet’s name is not a safe password. 

A lot less is using your birthday, which is practically like using “12345” even if you add a special character like “*” or “!” at the end. You should take passwords seriously, they are your main security gate. 

Creating Strong Passwords

  • Use a mix of characters: Combine uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and symbols.
  • Avoid common phrases: Don’t use easily guessable information, you know what we mean by this!
  • Consider a password manager: These tools are perfect for people who have problems remembering passwords or where they wrote them. 

Unfortunately, there’s been a substantial growth in attacks on people who have weak security systems, the numbers almost tripled from last year. 

The main cybersecurity risk in 2024 is losing data as a result of an attack. Data loss prevention starts with being informed and taking security thoughtfully. 

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