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Maximize your digital safety: Proven strategies to secure your passwords and personal data

  • Pritesh Patel 
What is Data Protection?: Tips to Keep Your Passwords Safe

In recent years, there has been an alarming increase in data breaches. In The first quarter of 2023 alone, over 6.4 million data records were breached worldwide. The increase in data breaches highlights the urgent need for both organizations and individuals to instill proper security measures. Failing to have adequate data protection measures invites a host of hackers into your system. No one wants to be a victim of such breaches.

Data breaches can be so devastating. They have serious financial and reputational repercussions. According to a recent IBM report, the average cost of a data breach was recorded at USD 4.45 million, which is a huge figure. It tells you of the importance of remaining secure at all times.

However, the big question is, what measures can you put in place to protect your online data? This article seeks to answer this question. It points out the top data protection tips that will keep you safe from the jaws of hackers. First, we need to understand what data protection is.

What is data protection?

Data protection includes practices, technologies, and regulatory measures designed to protect computer networks and resources against hackers. Data protection will secure personal and sensitive information from unauthorized access and loss.

At its core, the goal of data protection is to ensure the privacy and integrity of data by ensuring its confidentiality, security, and availability. To do so, data protection employs a host of measures such as encryption, access controls, data masking, and many others.

Tips to keep your personal information online safe

There are several effective tips you can adopt to keep your online data safe. This section spells out 10 practical tips you can apply to safeguard your data.

1. Use an SSL certificate to encrypt data

An SSL certificate is one of the most crucial elements for online data safety. If you run a website that collects or transacts sensitive data, consider having an SSL certificate. The certificate works by initiating encrypted sessions between the server and the browser. Through encrypted sessions, all information exchanged is unreadable to third parties.

The certificate prevents attackers from intercepting data while in transit. It, therefore, provides a secure environment for online transactions, data exchanges, and the safety of login credentials and other sensitive data. For a website owner, having a certificate can be a big plus. Remember, the certificate does more than just data encryption. It also helps with SEO, boosts user trust, and increases website performance.

2. Perform regular data backups

Performing regular backups safeguards your data against loss, corruption, and breaches. By routinely copying your data files and storing them in an alternative source, you ensure that you can easily recover the data in case of uncertainties. Uncertainty, in this case, might include data breaches, hardware and software failures, accidental deletions, ransomware attacks, or other forms of malware. While at it, please ensure you choose safe data storage locations, for instance. You can work with cloud storage systems, external hard drives, or both.

You should schedule your backups to run at regular intervals and ensure your data is always up-to-date. For instance, you can make the backups weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Also, be sure to test your restoration plan to ensure it works properly.

3. Use firewall

A firewall is the barrier between your network and potential internet threats. It observes and regulates inward and outward traffic based on predetermined security rules. It will block all traffic that seems harmful and allow only legitimate communications.

Using a firewall on your system will help prevent hackers, malware infections, and other cyber threats from infiltrating your system. Please either note that firewalls can be software-based, hardware-based, or a blend of both. You must also be sure to update your firewall regularly to ensure optimal protection.

4. Avoid using unsecured public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi is an easy target for hackers since they lack the requisite security protection. Hackers can employ techniques like man-in-the-middle attacks to infiltrate networks on public Wi-Fi. They will try to steal sensitive user data. Therefore, while the coffee shop, school, or airport Wi-Fi can be free and inviting, it is wise to avoid it if you value your data.

To be safe, you must avoid making vital transactions or sharing sensitive data via public Wi-Fi. If you have to use the Wi-Fi, ensure you also have a virtual private network. The VPN will help encrypt your connection and ensure data safety. Alternatively, you should use mobile data connections or hotspots instead of public Wi-Fi. Taking such precautions will significantly reduce the threat posed by insecure public Wi-Fi.

5. Beware of phishing attacks

According to a Cybersecurity Insiders report, 57% of organizations experience a phishing attempt every week. The same report further notes that approx. 3.4 billion phishing emails are recorded daily. These figures show you how rampant phishing swindles have become. They tell you how easy it is to fall victim to phishing fraud.

Phishing attacks occur when attackers impersonate legitimate organizations to deceive victims into revealing sensitive information. The attacks typically happen through emails, fake websites, SMS, and calls. Phishing attackers will attach malicious links to these emails or messages. Once you click on links, it will redirect you to a phony website that is out to extort money and steal from you.

To be safe, you must learn to verify senders’ addresses and identify red flags. Look for signs such as poor grammar and urgency in the message. Most importantly, only click on the link in which you know the source.

6. Use strong passwords

Passwords are your first line of defense against attackers. Never use a weak password that makes it easy for attackers to bypass your login page and access your account. So, what makes a strong password?

While creating usernames and passwords, there are a few tips you can use to ensure you make the most secure password. Here are the features your passwords should have:

  • Create a long password. A good password should be at least eight characters.
  • Do not use obvious passwords. “12345” or ‘ABCDE” looks too obvious. Do not use your name, your pet’s name, or something that characterizes you.
  • Use unique passwords. Blend letters, and numbers, as well as uppercase, lowercase, and special characters to make your passwords unique and hard to guess.
  • Consider using password managers to generate passwords.
  • Regularly update the passwords.
  • Do not reuse the password. Ensure every account has its unique password.

7. Enable 2-factor authentication

Sometimes, passwords cannot be enough. There have been cases where attackers have been able to bypass passwords. 2-factor authentication can come in handy to complement passwords and boost account security. 2FA is a second layer of user verification apart from password.

2FA involves a code sent to your mobile device or email. Only you can access this code. Therefore, even when attackers manage to access your password, they will still need this code to access your system or account. The fact that they do not have the code makes things safe. With advancements in technology and the dawn of AI, 2FA has become better. Fingerprint and facial recognition systems have added a robust layer of security to the online environment.

8. Keep your software and operating system updated

Updating your software and operating system does not only help with improving performance. Software updates also help with security. They include patches to existing security vulnerabilities that attackers could easily exploit.

Making the updates is easy using the automatic update feature. The updates also help to fix bugs, introduce new features, and augment the total performance of the system. As a rule of thumb, ensure you make the updates once they are available. The longer you wait, the more vulnerable you will be.

9. Use a virtual private network where possible

A VPN can improve your online secrecy and security. The VPN encrypts the internet connection and ensures secure transmission of data. It protects internet communications against eavesdropping and interceptions.

A virtual private network is particularly important when using public Wi-Fi. It will hide the IP address and make your online activities more anonymous. For maximum security and experience, ensure you work with a reputable VPN provider that offers a strong encryption policy, no-logs policy, and reliable performance.

10. Use antimalware software

Antimalware software is among the most critical security tools you can have on your network. It will help protect your device and network against malicious software such as spyware, Trojans, ransomware, and viruses. They actively scan your system to detect, quarantine, and remove malware before it can cause damage.

In addition to malware scans, antimalware software comes with additional features. These features include web protection, email filtering, and firewall integration. These features will help you safeguard your personal information, maintain system integrity, and protect against cyber threats.


The best strategy to safeguard your data against cyber threats is to adopt multiple strategies. It would be more effective to have these measures work together. That way, if one fails, another will work. Remember, you can never know the strategy an attacker uses to infiltrate your system. This is why it is always good to be prepared at all times. Data breaches are real, and the best strategy is to arm yourself with multiple defenses.