The global cybersecurity industry is set to be worth $270 billion by 2026. That, according to the same source, represents almost a $100 billion increase in its current market value.

Clearly, cybercrime’s a major threat that’s only getting bigger.

That’s why it’s so important for both individuals and businesses to be proactive in protecting themselves online. Especially when it comes to data protection.

Indeed, the repercussions of a data breach can be severe all-around.

Businesses stand to lose revenue and intellectual property; their reputation gets damaged and they become liable to regulatory investigations and lawsuits. Individuals can have their accounts hacked, personal information harvested, identities stolen, and lives sent into turmoil all-around.

Do you want to learn more about the protective measures that can prevent these unfortunate fates? Let us help! Read on for 7 of the best data protection tips to know about in 2020.

  1. Assume You’re at Risk

The first and most important step is to recognize the threat.

It’s similar to getting seriously ill. The danger seems abstract- something that only happens to other people, right? You never think you’ll fall sick…until you do!

The lesson is this:

Data accidents tend to happen when you assume you’re safe. You become too relaxed and lackadaisical with your cybersecurity. With your guard down, you become far more vulnerable to attack.

Try to recognize and remember the risk at all times. You’ll be more likely to stay on your toes and take all the necessary steps to prevent debilitating data breaches from occurring.

  1. Keep Everything Updated

The internet is constantly changing.

Like an almighty ocean, it’s in a constant state of flux. Think about the internet of today compared to ten or twenty years ago! It’s a whole new ball game.

Unfortunately, that means the danger from cyber criminals changes too! They’re constantly becoming more advanced, looking for new ways to cause trouble and steal your data.

That’s why it’s crucial to update your software whenever you can.

Past versions can harbor bugs and vulnerabilities that leave them open to attack. The creators of the software then modernize it in order to iron out the threat. Fail to do the update and you lose out on the newfound defenses.

  1. Stay up to Speed on New Threats

Updating your systems is only step one to staying safe though.

The next key update worth making is to your personal understanding of the threat(s)! In other words, do your best to stay on top of the latest cybercrimes and practices.

That insight is empowering. You know what to avoid and can take necessary action to prevent data breaches from happening. Without this knowledge, you’re far more likely to walk into a trap.

It’s for this reason that many organizations invest in penetration testing.

They literally pay someone versed cybercrime to hack into their systems! The result? They learn where their vulnerabilities may lay. This page has more information on pen-testing if you’re interested in learning more.

  1. Always Be Sensible With Passwords

Passwords are another central component of effective data protection.

They should be long and complex streams of letters, numerals, and symbols. They should also be changed regularly- with no option of using a past version.

Most important of all, they should be stored and managed safely. Writing them down in your notebook isn’t quite good enough! Never share your password with anyone or create one that’s too obvious (e.g. ‘password’, ‘123456789’, or whatever your birthday happens to be).

Two-factor authentication is being used to great effect these days as well. Upon entry of an initial password, you (or your employees) get sent a verification code without which you can’t get into the device/program.

  1. Regularly Back Everything Up

Data breaches are never good.

But they’re catastrophic when you haven’t got your data backed up anywhere.

Imagine falling foul of some complex ransomware. They take control of your device and/or data and demand X amount of money if you want it back. With no backup, you have no other option but to pay it or risk losing everything.

Of course, having a back-up doesn’t get you out of the bind. It does, however, provide an almighty failsafe. You know, if everything takes a turn for the worst, that your all-important data is stored elsewhere.

That’s an empowering and reassuring prospect! Take advantage of it by backing up your systems at every opportunity.

  1. Don’t Click On Suspicious Links

Phishing scams get people and businesses into trouble every year.

Be it in an email or DM, someone clicks on a link they’ve been sent and open up a world of trouble in the process. It can download malware and trigger a cascade of significant issues.

It’s like open the front door of your home to a burglar.

The hardest part is that phishing scams are getting increasingly advanced. Where they were once fairly obvious (think unknown senders, outlandish offers, grammatical errors, and hyperbolic subject lines), they’re now far harder to recognize.

Caution and vigilance are both keys to avoiding these scams. Play it safe, ignore anything suspicious, and stay away from any untrusted websites and any downloads they offer.

  1. Avoid Using Public/Open Wi-Fi Networks

Public Wi-Fi networks are the downfall of many people in terms of data protection these days.

They’re open networks, which means anybody can, in theory, hack your system, intercept your messages, and harvest your data. All you want to do is surf the web at the airport, café, or library, and you end up falling victim to a cyberattack!

Try to avoid these networks wherever possible. Or, at the very least, install a virtual private network to encrypt your connection and keep your data safer.

Remember These Data Protection Tips

Cybercrime is becoming an ever-larger threat to individuals and businesses who use and rely upon the internet. In other words, almost everybody’s at risk of cyberattack these days!

It’s crucial to take steps to prevent these potential calamities from happening. Don’t, and you stand to lose everything from your hard-earned money to your very identity. Hopefully, the data protection tips in this post will help in this regard.

Do you want to read more articles like this one? Search ‘cybercrime’ on the website now.