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The Green Sheet Online Edition

August 09, 2021 • Issue 21:08:01

Readers Speak: Nine tips to protect your data

Payments professionals routinely convey to merchants the importance of PCI compliance. A portion of merchants, however, fail to grasp the concept. Sometimes having information presented in a different way speeds understanding. The following tips are condensed from advice offered by SecurityHQ's Vanashree Chowdhury and Eleanor Barlow:

Secure your Wi-Fi network

If your network is not secure, it is easy for people to access it and steal data from your devices. It is equally as easy for bad actors to hijack your connection to conduct crime. To ensure preliminary security, change the default administrator password to a strong password that follows security protocols.

Disable bluetooth and Wi-Fi in public

Bluetooth and Wi-Fi settings can be exploited if not disabled when not in use. Even with access restrictions and password protection in place, cybercriminals can hack into your device via Bluetooth to gain access to data such as emails, text messages, pictures, and videos. Do not perform online shopping, banking, or other sensitive tasks when on public Wi-Fi or in a public place.

Configure privacy settings

Often, default device privacy and browser settings are not configured to the user's advantage. To make devices more secure, customize advanced device privacy and browser settings. Block auto cookie and location tracking. Disable auto-download and auto-run of Flash.

Protect your PII

Personally identifiable information (PII) such as phone number, birth date, and bank account details can be used to identify, locate, or contact an individual. Refrain from posting such information on publicly visible platforms, storing it unencrypted, or physically noting it down.

Don’t save information

Websites and browsers allow you to save sensitive data such as passwords and credit card information for future use, but do not save it. Store passwords in a password manager and sensitive information in encrypted f­iles. Also, closely monitor your financial transactions to flag payments you have not made so you can react quickly.

Avoid unknown sites

Cyber criminals create thousands of fake websites, often spoofs of legitimate sites, to spread malware, carry out spam campaigns and phishing attacks. Check security protocols, certi­fications and a secure payment gateway on websites.

Verify before you click

Links, pop-ups, and downloads can contain viruses and malware. Phishing emails are known to use fear-inducing or enticing tactics to manipulate victims into submitting sensitive information. Verify the source before clicking any links.

Carefully back-up data

Having a data back-up is advisable in case your files are damaged or inaccessible due to a cyber-attack. However, make sure you control where your data is uploaded and stored, and who has access to it.

Report suspicious activity

If you notice anything suspicious, report to your cyber security team instantly, so that immediate action can be taken to mitigate the cyber threat. For more in-depth data security advice, case studies, data sheets and more see https://securityhq.com. end of article

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Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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