Practical steps to minimize data privacy threats
Posted on 30 January 2013.
Google comes across 9,500 new malicious websites each day and responds by sending notifications to webmasters. Nevertheless, these websites are just one of the many dangers threatening data privacy.


Hardware.comís tips for reducing data privacy risks include:

1. Create a privacy policy.

Having an established privacy policy in place is a simple way to clearly define company expectations and tips for employees. Update the plan as new threats and best practices are identified. Then, conduct training sessions to educate employees about data privacy risks and how they can maintain the privacy of company and client data.

2. Carefully manage all employee devices.

Today many workers access company information using multiple devices, including tablets, smartphones, and removable storage devices such as USB flash drives. Data privacy can be compromised if users lose these devices or share them with others. For this reason, itís crucial that all devices, not just computers or the primary device, are carefully managed with password protections, encrypted data, and antivirus software.

3. Address social media threats.

Employees often let their guard down when using social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. They need to be extremely careful given the amount of spam available over the web. Warn employees to avoid downloading third-party apps unless they are absolutely necessary. They should also be advised to never click on suspicious links, since these often contain malicious content capable of harming computers and stealing login information. In some cases, organizations may want to consider restricting access to social networks altogether in order to maximize their network security.

4. Install real-time protection.

Sometimes a hacker strikes without anyone knowing until it is too late. Identifying hackers before they attack web applications is essential.

5. Donít overlook the obvious.

Certain threats and solutions can appear quite obvious and simple but are easily overlooked. For example, be sure employee devices conduct automatic updates, so the latest web browsers, operating systems, and security software are installed. Additionally, disable network access when a device becomes infected so that it doesnít spread malicious content to other devices. Lastly, donít forget to monitor outbound traffic, since employees may accidentally, or even purposefully, send an email attachment containing sensitive information to an unauthorized person.





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