By teknet on Thursday 14th June 2018, 9:44am
It’s been a few weeks since the introduction of GDPR to EU companies and businesses which operate in the EU. The new regulations make it easier for people to find out how their personal data is being used, and ensure this is only in ways they’ve given consent for.
Now you are more in control of your personal details, but cyber security is still a vital topic to consider when you browse online. There are lots of ways to be more careful and protect your data when surfing the web.
Some of them are listed in this article from Hogan Injury that includes 4 ways to protect your personal information. We’ve also come up with a few ways in which you can make your personal data a little bit safer.
Look out for sites with SSL certificates
If a site has one of these, it means it’s harder to hack into as any personal data is encrypted. Without an SSL, a website – along with any personal data like card numbers, names or dates of birth entered in the site – is more vulnerable to hackers.
If you’re not sure how to spot a site with SSL, simply look at its URL. If this starts with https:// then it has an SSL. However, a site without one would begin http:// – there’s no ‘s’.
Another way to tell is some browsers have a green padlock or the word ‘Secure’ by the URL, to show a site has an SSL. Each browser is different – but a lot have something to show that a site encrypts data.
Another thing to look at is how the website appears. Does it have a clear returns policy, delivery information, contact details? If the contact information – such as an email address or phone number for the company – doesn’t look right, don’t put your details into the website. It’s the same thing if an item sounds too good to be true – if a new product costs £500 most places, a website advertising it for £100 probably isn’t trustworthy.
Be careful with emails
You’ve probably heard this before- in fact, it’s in that Hogan Injury article we mentioned earlier. But it’s important. Don’t open any emails from senders you don’t know and never click any links in them. Even if they claim to be from a company you do know – like Amazon or Apple – if something seems strange don’t react to it. By all means check your account – but not through the email.
Let’s say you had an email from someone claiming to be Amazon, saying there was a problem with your order or confirming a purchase. The problem? The product listed isn’t something you’ve bought.
The first thing here is don’t panic. Don’t react to the email, clicking on a link to say that you never placed this order. Check over the email (without clicking on anything) – are the logos blurry perhaps? Maybe the formatting isn’t like an ordinary email from the company? Maybe they’re missing some vital details of yours, like your name – instead just listing your email address. Things like that make it obvious that the email isn’t from who it claims to be.
So delete the email and forget all about it. If you want to, then after you’ve deleted the email go onto the website in your browser and check there aren’t any new orders. It might be a good idea, just in case someone’s already in your account ordering things.
If there’s nothing there then that’s fine. To be honest, you might not even need to open the fake email in the first place if the title looks unusual – just delete it and check your account on your browser straightaway.
It’s crucial to remember with this tip that it doesn’t just apply online. If you get any letters which look a bit strange, then discard them too. Along with phone calls from people who want your details – even if they claim to be calling from a reputable company, how can they prove that?
Remove your data from accounts with no relevance anymore
Since the introduction of GDPR, this one’s a lot easier if you live in the EU, or if the company you’re using is based there. If there’s a company you placed one order with two years ago, and have no intention of ordering from them again, then you can delete your information easily – this could include your email address, name and card details. There are exceptions to this rule, but if you haven’t used an account recently or made a payment, you should be able to do this.
This point isn’t as vital as the others, but reducing where your data is online can’t be a bad thing.
When it comes to cyber security, vigilance is the best way to ensure your data is secure. Be aware that there are people online who want your data for the wrong reasons, and remember this when entering data somewhere new. Think twice if something doesn’t look right – then exit the page rather than filling out forms.
If you fear that your details are being fraudulently used, then the first thing is don’t panic. Go into your bank or onto your online banking and report the fraud. The sooner it’s dealt with, the better.
Cyber security is only going to become more important as time goes on. It’s best to be vigilant when it comes to what you do with your information – as it could help protect your details in the long run. The important thing to remember is that when it comes to personal data, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Would you like to develop your website to be more secure?
Teknet Software can help with this and a range of other services – see our Services page for more information! Alternatively, you can fill out the form on our Contact page, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0800 488 0400 for details.