The recent massive data-harvesting scandal of Cambridge Analytica, mishandling Facebook user data with the help of a personality quiz application had shocked us all. The data of over 87 million Facebook users were mishandled by the organization and used for electoral purposes. These stolen records were then used to target particular voters with ads and social media posts in hope of influencing their decisions at the ballot box.
This is not just the case of Online data, your data stored Offline is also not safe.
In this growing era of cybercrimes, protecting your data is a difficult task.
Data theft is a growing problem for individual users, large businesses, and organizations. Data theft occurs both outside and inside companies, and reducing the risk of insider data theft is anything but easy.
What happens to your data once Data theft has occurred?
How do Data thefts occur? & How do you safeguard your unused Data?
In the following of this article, we are going to have a look at the data theft statistics around the globe. And we will discuss ways to control data theft with ease.
DATA THEFT: A COMMON DISASTER
Data theft has been common since the last couple of years, exploiting user and company data has been more like a disaster. The following statistics of data breaches depicts the source of these data thefts.
About 72% of the data thefts occurred were from a Malicious Outsider, 18% were due to accidental loss or due to human errors, 9 % of these thefts were from Malicious Insiders and the rest from unknown sources.
According to databreaches.net and Idtheftcentre, almost 9,727,967,988 records were stolen till now using data theft.
These data breaches target a lot of industries such as businesses, government, educational, medical and banking industries. Most of these breaches were due to hacking, phishing and online fraud.
The huge number of reports were stolen offline, with various mediums such as lost drives, human errors, non-secure networks etc.
The following diagram depicts the growing number of data breaches that have affected each industry till 2017.
Even though we can’t do much to prevent the online data theft, we can take precautionary methods and implement steps to control it.
But the data stored offline are also stolen due to various inside jobs such as lost or stolen storage device, poor security, malware etc.
The steps for preventing Data theft is described in the rest of the article.
AVOIDING DATA THEFT:
Given below are 5 steps with which you could control data theft up to an extent.
- Secure Sensitive Customer Data.
Storing paper files and removable storage devices containing sensitive information in a secure place when not in use will help. Giving employees access to only the information they need to do their jobs is a good way of securing your data.
- Properly Dispose of Sensitive Data.
Destroy documents containing sensitive data prior to recycling or disposing of. Remove all data from computers and storage devices before disposing them of.
- Use Password Protection.
Password protecting your business computers, network access, and accounts is a good step in preventing data theft. Equip employees with a unique username and a good password that is updated periodically.
- Protect Against Viruses and Malicious Code.
Install and use antivirus and antispyware software on all of your business computers. Don’t open email attachments or other downloads unless they’re from a trusted source. Keep updated with the latest anti-virus software and you could prevent data theft up to an extent.
- Secure Access to Your Network.
Making the use of a firewall prevents malicious outsiders from accessing data on your network. Enable your operating system’s firewall or purchase a reliable firewall software. Allow remote access to your network only through a properly configured Virtual Private Network (VPN).
If you have a Wi-Fi network for your workplace, make sure it is secure, encrypted and hidden so that its SSID can’t be picked up by outsiders.
With the above said 5 steps, you could prevent data theft up to a certain extent. And now what about your data on your old systems or storage devices. Does deleting them forever keep them away from being stolen? We will look into it in the rest of the article.
DATA THEFT FROM STORAGE DEVICES AND PREVENTION
According to a report by the IDtheftCentre, the US military had lost data of 76 million veterans including their social security numbers, dating back to 1972. The issue involves a defective hard drive the agency had sent back to its vendor for repair and recycling without first destroying the data.
The above incident could happen with your data and storage devices too. Ensuring the safety of your data is a big concern.
Selling or disposing of a PC or a storage device or medium creates a serious threat. But just deleting your drive or devices won’t completely erase your data, there are many third-party applications available nowadays with which your deleted data could be recovered easily in a matter of minutes.
In order to delete your data permanently from any drive, you could use the help of a reliable software designed for this specific purpose.
REMO DRIVE WIPE is one of the most reliable tools specifically made for this purpose. The user can download and run the app and then select the specific drive for deletion.
Remo Drive Wipe erases the drive data permanently such that no recovery software could ever retrieve your data. The tool completely remove sensitive data from your hard drive or logical drives by overwriting it several times with carefully selected data shredding patterns and various international disk sanitization standards
Thus you could avoid Data theft from your unused storage devices or drives with the help of Remo Drive Wipe.
With all of the methods in this article implemented at the right time, any user or company could protect itself from the growing number of Data Thefts.
Customer Evangelist @remosoftware. Trying to perfect the art of writing while running a business. Fan of exceptional customer service.