How to Ensure Your Personal Data Stays Safe

It is only relatively recently that we have seen the introduction of data protection laws throughout the world. Fortunately, not only is our data much better protected today than it used to be, but there is also a much greater awareness of the need to keep our data safe. Ensuring that your personal data remains secure doesn’t require you to be particularly computer literate; you just need to know some basic rules.

Secure Your Offline Data

While most people are now much more cautious about keeping their online data secure, many people still overlook the importance of keeping offline data sources secure. This means ensuring that important documents are kept in a safe place where they can’t be accessed by anyone who isn’t supposed to have access.

You should also be careful about the documents that you carry with you. Only carry identification documents if you need them. If you carry a Medicare card with you, make sure that all except the last four digits are obscured and can’t be read. Of course, if your doctor needs to see your card, then you should produce the original document.

If you are asked for data in person, make sure that you fully understand who is asking for and collecting the data, how it will be used and why they want it. You should never give out any personal information without good reason.

Watch Out for Impersonators

Both online and offline there will be people who pose as legitimate data collectors in order to entice you into handing over personal information. Scammers are finding ever more sophisticated ways of impersonating other people and businesses, meaning you need to be extra careful about ensuring that the person you are talking to is who they say they are.

Safely Dispose of Personal Information

With any physical documents that you need to dispose of that contain personal information, the most efficient way of safely disposing of them is to use a shredder or another method of physically destroying the document. Note that the simplest shredders, those that just cut the paper into strips, are not a secure disposal method. Instead, look for a shredder that uses cross-cutting to render the document irretrievable.

If you are disposing of a digital device or a hard drive, you will want to ensure that the information can’t be retrieved. Businesses like Secure Data Recovery are great when you need to recover data, but the prevalence of these services means that you need to be careful when you are disposing of your electronics. Either securely erase your hard drive or physically destroy the storage medium.

Encrypt Your Data

Encrypting your data will ensure that even if someone is able to get their hands on your data, they won’t be able to read it. Similarly, if you need to recover your data later, you can decrypt the recovered data to get your original files back.

Ensuring that your personal data remains secure is easy when you know what you’re doing. By following the simple tips above, you can be certain that your data is as secure as possible, whether online or offline.