You may have probably heard about data breaches in the newspaper. It does happen more than people think. But what is it? And can it put your company at risk?

Basically, data breaches occur when private or personal information saved on desktops, hard drives or any other digital storage devices are stolen. This normally put the victim at a greater risk of identity theft. At times, it is referred to as data spill or data leak.

In the past few years, more than 41 million customer debit and credit cards were compromised as a result of a series of cyber-attacks on some major corporate chain stores. So if you are a business owner and not making data protection a top priority then you are putting yourself to a big risk.

According to a ZDNet report, several of the world’s biggest names in the media, technology and government suffered major security breaches in 2013. These high profile companies include: Facebook, Twitter, Wall Street Journal, Adobe, The U.S. Federal Reserves and the New York Times. Their confidential and private data were taken by hackers. Though most companies have adopted strict policies to protect sensitive data from hackers, it does not mean that it won’t happen again.

Just because essential data has lost or been stolen does not mean that it will be used for selfish gains. Of course, there are those good people out there that can let a business know when sensitive information has leaked out without their knowledge. Even so, it is recommended for business owners to take the proper measures to protect themselves against data breaches. So how can you protect yourself? Here are a few steps that you can take to help protect against data breach.

Protect your Mobile Devices and Computers

As a basic rule, you should install antivirus and antispyware software on your personal computers and mobile devices. You will also need to update the antivirus software on a daily basis. Most people think that they are safe from viruses and malware. These assumptions couldn’t be further from the truth because recent studies show that over 52% of data breaches occur through network intrusion. It is important to install these precautionary apps, and maintain them on a regular basis. Ideally check your computers and mobile devices on a weekly basis to ensure operating systems, antispyware and antivirus are up-to-date. Sadly, most people never check them whatsoever.
Secure both Digital and Physical Environments

You need to keep in mind that digital and physical environments are interrelated. Whether digital or physical, security breaches usually boils down to access. For this reason, securing the premises of your business establishment is of paramount importance. In fact, it is the first line of defense in safeguarding computers, devices and hard drives that stays within the business.

Use Appropriate Data Security Software and Encryption

Use data security software to protect your computers. In addition to this, protect your handheld devices such as smartphones and tablets. In fact, mobile devices are more vulnerable to be stolen or lost.

Change your Passwords

The easiest way to deter intruders is to lock the main door. Set one of the strongest passwords in the world and do not use one password across several accounts, particularly accounts that involve your credit card and banking information.

Allow for Alerts

Most financial institutions and businesses let customers to set text or email alert for every trans-locations they have made. They will send you a text message or email alert whenever your card is swiped or you have paid for products using your card.


Remember cyber security is getting worse instead of better. Hackers are becoming smarter each day. So vigilance is very important when it comes to protecting your personal information. Protect yourself now before it gets too late.