Things You Should Do To Protect Your Personal Data
Are we doing enough to protect ourselves and our data? At least most of us think we do. But the odds are that most of us have been victims of some form of cybercrime in our lifetime.
There is an increased volume of cybercrime in recent years that equates to one report of a cyber attack every 8 minutes over the 2020-2021 financial year.
There have been a few frightening data breaches as of late, with the likes of data giants like Optus getting hacked, compromising millions of users’ personal data.
This serves as a reminder that making an effort to protect your data is absolutely necessary.
Why would you want to protect your data?
In the same way you do not want to give the keys to your house to a random stranger, you do not want to give cybercriminals a chance to take and profit off of your data.
A few things people can do to your data are:
Identity theft – the attacker can ask for loans in your name or commit credit card fraud.
Cyber extortion – it involves the attacker stealing confidential information and threatening to share it in a way that will harm you.
Harm to your company or employer – with stolen data, they can target company personnel to give sensitive information or steal their money.
How can your data get in the hands of attackers?
- Phishing: When you receive an email that appears to be genuine that leads you to give away your information or login credentials
- Malware: You install software that came with a virus that would then exfiltrate information from your computer
- Account takeover: Criminals use stolen credentials to break into accounts with payment details and use it for fraud.
- Data breaches: Data is unintentionally exposed to the public, mainly due to vulnerabilities in websites where you have an account.
- Oversharing: Sharing too much information about your workplace, birthday, location,…This information can be used against you i.e: phishing
Keeping your security hygiene
Here are some general cybersecurity tips and best practices so that you can be ahead of potential threats.
- Protect your devices
Make sure you update your software and devices for new features and security improvements. You can also set your computer to update automatically. It’s worthwhile to set up an antivirus software on your computer and activate an auto-lock screensaver. On your phone, use a PIN to lock your device and only download trusted apps from official stores.
- Don’t click suspicious links or enter personal info on unsecured websites
Be aware of phishing sites and always make sure you’re visiting the official Loanstreet website. Do not click on links or enter sensitive information on websites you suspect to be fraudulent. Never click on a link or open an attachment in an email from someone you don’t know and trust.
- Don’t share sensitive info with people who DM or email you.
You should never send sensitive data or information in an email whether written in the body or as an attachment. Email is not encrypted by default so any information sent via email is not protected from being intercepted by third-party attackers.
- Be smart about passwords
Everyone should use a password manager to generate and remember different and complex passwords for different accounts. Activate two-step authentication (2FA) whenever possible for all your accounts.
- Avoid using public wifi and computers to access your personal information
Public wifi typically lacks encryption and doesn’t require authentication to establish a network connection. So attacks and data theft are real possibilities. Assume the data you’re sending through the wifi network is visible to others. Don’t use it to access bank accounts, email or other personal sensitive sites.
- Enable the strongest security measures available on your social media accounts
Never share personal or confidential information on social media. If hackers manage to access your accounts, they will easily use a lot of information for their scams.
- Check your credit report and place a ban on your credit report (if necessary)
If you believe your data may have been compromised, you should check your credit report for any suspicious transactions and also request a ban on your credit report. It means your credit reporting body will not use or disclose your credit information while the ban is in place. You can order a free credit report once every 3 months to check for fraudulent activity.
- Enable encryption on your laptop
This is a great way to protect your data stored on your computer such as tax documents, pictures, health records, etc…When you encrypt your hard drive, this means that third parties will be unable to view it unless they have access to your encryption key (password to log in).
At Loanstreet, security is always at the forefront of our growth. Our team works diligently to ensure the safety and security of each and every LoanStreet customer.
Stay vigilant and reach out to [email protected] if you have any questions or require assistance.
Loanstreet helps thousands of customers nationwide to find the path towards homeownership through personalised advice and tailored loan solutions. Built on a belief that financial service should only do what is in the best interest of the customers and community. For additional information please visit https://loanstreet.com.au/