Secure Networks: Blog

3 Data Safety Tips You Can Use Right Now

With new technology advancements happing on almost a daily basis, keeping up with it  can be a real challenge. Especially when those advancements are related to data safety and security. However, it doesn’t have to be so hard. Here are a few physical security steps you can implement right now to protect yourself.

Cover up your webcam

We know, it sounds ridiculous, but Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, former FBI director, James Comey, and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden all believe their webcams could be compromised. Is this just another paranoid celebrity reaction to the paparazzi, or is there a genuine reason to be concerned?

Take a moment to consider the following scenario: hackers using your webcam to spy on you.

Sounds like something straight out of a spy movie, right? But not so fast, this exact thing has happened, in real life, and on several occasions. Sometimes the reason was purely voyeuristic and sometimes for reason appeared to be espionage. And believe it or not, this can be a very real threat with disturbing consequences. A hacker’s goal here is to gain any personal information they can based on your surroundings. From it, they can deduce your location, spy on the people you’re with, and ultimately use this information to hold you ransom, by threatening to broadcast your most intimate and vulnerable moments if you don’t pay up.

Fortunately, all you need to do is stick some painter’s tape over your webcam to reduce this risk. If you’re not confident about regular tape, you can purchase a cheap webcam cover online or at any hardware store.

Purchase a privacy shield

Think of privacy guards as those iPhone scratch protectors. These are thin covers you put on your computer, laptop or smartphone screen to limit viewing angles. Once installed, anyone trying to look at your screen from anywhere — except straight-on — sees nothing. Privacy filters are commonly used to protect work devices, particularly which display or critical files, sensitive data, or confidential information. However, less sensitive, personal devices are still vulnerable to ‘shoulder surfing’ — the act of peeking at someone else’s screen, with or without ill intent.

Use a physical authentication key

Requiring more than one set of credentials to access sensitive resources is common sense, and has become standard practice for established online services. With something called two-factor authentication in place, you gain access to your account only after you’ve entered the authentication code, which the website sends to your smartphone once you’ve entered your account credentials. Until recently, two-factor authentication relied mostly on text messages that were sent to mobile phones. But professionals have now realized that phones can be hijacked to redirect text messages.

Moreover, authentication codes can be stolen, or users can be tricked into entering these codes via a convincing phishing website. If you’re looking for authentication services that cannot be hijacked, stolen or lost, your best bet is a USB or Bluetooth key you can carry on your keychain. This means nobody — not even you — will be able to access your account without the physical key. Ultimate security at your fingertips.

If you need help setting up two-factor authentication, or any IT security services, contact our experts and experience true peace of mind as we fortify your data to no end.