Data theft is one of the most common prevailing issues of the cyber world that has left many users, companies, government organizations, business, and other industries in deep worries. Major industrial giants such as Fox.com, Google, Facebook, Sony’s PlayStation Network, and many others have witnessed huge embarrassment due to lack of security features that led to hijacking. As soon as millions of user accounts are compromised, all their crucial information such as usernames, passwords, home addresses and credit card information is revealed to the identity thieves.

In 2011, the USA High Court saw 106 cases involving confidential data theft. In 2012, the value was increased to 167, around 58% more of than the previous year. This shows an upward trend in the number of cases reported related to data theft. Often, users blame corporations for their poor security factor and hackers for their participation in maliciously attacking websites, but the other party to be blamed are us, the users. Obviously, a user cannot do anything if the website got hacked, but he can prevent his accounts from being hacked or compromised. Reusing passwords, creating weak passwords, and including addresses in the password make you an easy target for identity frauds.

In this article, you will read about the top 5 tips that can help you in protecting your data.

1. Use smart passwords

We often think that if a folder, file or even account is password-protected, then it is surely the one that can’t be reached easily. Passwords help us in keeping our sensitive and crucial information safe from prying eyes and build an additional security layer around it. Creating a password on different websites every time can be a bit annoying and remembering them is also a big pain. Always remember one thing, if you are using simple passwords that you won’t forget, and then also pay attention towards the fact that the easier they’re to remember, the easiest that would be to guess.

While studying the case report of the website RockYou.com, which was hacked in 2009, a security firm recovered 32 million compromised passwords. The combination were easy to guess and included 123456, 12345, 123456789, Password and iloveyou as the top five most-used passwords. Changing your password to a difficult one would be a better option as the more complicated your password is, the safer your data will be. An ideal password should be an unusual combination of letters, numbers and symbols or special characters.

2. Don’t share passwords

Many times, you use same password for different account to avoid remembering various lengthy yet confusing passwords. Using one or two passwords for our e-mail, banking, Facebook and everything else can leave you in big trouble as if anyone of them would be compromised, the security of all your accounts would be at stake.

It is always recommended to use different passwords for different sites, and use different accounts for different purposes. Using entirely different letters, symbols and capitalization parameters allows you to stay safe, even if the security of one of your accounts has been compromised. Don’t repeat a password, use credit card information, and your social security number in any of the situations. You are recommended to secure your email password and avoid using it for any other sites. Never disclose your passwords to anyone as you’re not sure that who can harm you and up to what extent.

3. Backup your data regularly

Always make sure that you create backup of your files at regular interval of time so that if something bad happens, then you can immediately recover from the same using the backed up data. Business houses should back up all their emails and work, while an individual user can try to back up data for keeping a safe copy of his documents, images, files, and other important things. In yesteryears, hard drive storage was costly hence, floppy disks were used to store a paltry amount of data. But now, you have ZIP disks, DVDs, CD burners, and cheap hard drives that offer ample space to facilitate backups. Additionally, recent cloud storage facility has changed the entire picture as you can back up a considerable amount of data on it, without making any purchase or paying any additional fee.

4. Use an updated antivirus

A virus infection may take away all your important data, files, images, videos, games and other stuff that you’ve saved on your device. Hence, it is very essential to keep your antivirus solution updated with the latest drivers and updates that ensure complete safety of your data as well as the device. Manufacturers release updates for their genuine products to make their more efficient and keep abreast of the latest technological trends. An updated antivirus can safeguard you from virus attacks, and informs you about their existence of the devices, and will also update you about the attempts made by infections to harm your data and PC.

5. Always be alert

Being alert is the easiest task that every user can perform to secure his data and system from various online threats. Various Internet threats such as viruses, spyware, malware, adware, worms, Trojans and other malicious codes may get installed and operate silently from your device. E-mail attachments, downloads from unreliable sources, spam mails and addresses, forced downloads, strange URLs, and other phishing scheme documents are never worth opening. Always use smart browsing techniques to ensure that you never get an infection on your computer easily. While buying online or creating accounts on new websites, always ensure that the site is trustworthy and is completely real.

In a world, where threats are more in number than prevention techniques, a user needs to be smart enough to cope up with the false schemes and promotions. Remembering multiple passwords can be a difficult task for everyone, but an efficient web service can keep a record of all your passwords and save it for later use. These kinds of services are generally offered for free and can be accessed using a single password. Users are recommended to choose cloud storage option for backing up their valuable data, as the chances of getting the data affected or deleted by a virus are negligible. So, install updates, browse safe, and keep your passwords strong and safe to avoid all such hassles of Internet thefts.