7 Essential digital habits to enhance everyday data privacy: A guide for employees

7 Essential digital habits to enhance everyday data privacy: A guide for employees

Every day, employees navigate a complex digital network of work devices, online platforms, and countless applications. While this constant exchange of information offers undeniable convenience, it also raises data privacy concerns. With employees’ personal and professional lives becoming increasingly intertwined online, safeguarding data has never been more crucial.

Fortunately, there are key digital habits you can incorporate into your daily routine to significantly enhance your data privacy inside and outside of work.

Be mindful of permissions

Many applications request a wide range of permissions to function, from seemingly harmless access to your location for weather updates to more concerning requests for camera or microphone access. Before granting any permission, take a moment to consider why the app needs that access. If the functionality seems nonessential, deny the permission. You can also review previously granted permissions in your device settings and revoke any that no longer seem necessary. This simple act of scrutinizing permissions helps you take control of the data that apps collect from you.

Practice strong password hygiene

All your passwords should be long and complex, incorporating a mix of alphanumeric characters and symbols. Do not use information such as pet names, birthdays, or addresses, as these can easily be guessed. Additionally, you should utilize a reputable password manager and let it handle the heavy lifting of creating and storing unique, effective passwords for all your accounts. More importantly, using password managers eliminates password reuse across different accounts, significantly reducing security vulnerabilities.

Read also: Security best practices: Your ultimate guide to creating unbreakable passwords

Beware of phishing attempts

Phishing scams are deceptive emails or messages that trick users like you into revealing login credentials, credit card details, and other sensitive information by impersonating legitimate sources such as your bank or employer.

Don't be pressured into clicking on suspicious links or attachments. Remember: legitimate companies do not pressure their valued clients into taking immediate action. Verify the sender's identity directly through a trusted channel, such as the company's official website or a phone number you know is correct.

Embrace multifactor authentication (MFA)

MFA requires a second verification step (e.g,. a one-time code sent to your phone or a biometrics scan) on top of your password, adding another layer of security to your online accounts. While not all platforms offer MFA, enable it wherever possible to minimize unauthorized access risks should your password become compromised.

Think before you click

Many websites, including social media platforms, track your online activity through cookies and other monitoring technologies. The data gathered is often used for targeted advertising, but it can also paint a detailed picture of your interests and habits. Be mindful of what you share and interact with online, especially on work profiles. Limit the amount of personal information you share publicly and always review your privacy settings to ensure control over who sees your posts and who can collect data about your online activity.

Beware of public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi networks are convenient, offering internet access in airports, cafes, and other public spaces, but they’re fundamentally far less secure than private networks. Cybercriminals can intercept data transmitted over these connections, including login credentials and emails, so never access sensitive work information or conduct online banking business while connected to public Wi-Fi. If it can’t be helped, use a virtual private network to encrypt internet traffic to and from your device, making data unreadable to prying eyes.

Stay updated on cybersecurity

Staying informed about the latest cybersecurity risks and best practices is crucial for protecting your data privacy. Take advantage of any company-provided training on cybersecurity and data privacy. Reputable online resources also offer valuable information on current threats and how to stay safe online. By staying updated, you can proactively protect yourself from falling victim to the latest phishing attempts or malware attacks.

By incorporating these habits into your everyday life, you can protect not just your personal information but your company's data as well.

Need a hand in safeguarding your data? Turn to Ontario’s most trusted business technology partner: XBASE Technologies. We implement advanced, multilayered cybersecurity strategies tailored for your business. Send us a message today.