The 21st century’s digital revolution has seen a complete sea-change in the way in which data is gathered, stored, shared and interpreted. We are ever more reliant on technology in our day-to-day lives, and technology has changed the face of criminality, too. New technological advancements have acted as labour-saving, streamlining processes for the vast majority of us, but for every innovation, there is an enterprising cyber-crook waiting in the wings to exploit it. Here’s our advice on how to protect your sensitive digital data from those who would wish to access it.
Paper versus digital
The first thing you need to decide is whether to store your data as a hard copy, or in a digital format. Digital holds numerous advantages over print, as it is easier to back up, more cost effective, more environmentally friendly and less susceptible to damage. In terms of security, a physical copy can be lost, stolen or otherwise compromised, whereas a secure digital copy can be password protected, encrypted and hidden, making it far less likely to fall into the wrong hands. Having said that, both are susceptible to human errors and mishaps.
Protecting your networks with a secure password is essential for preventing cybercriminals from accessing your sensitive data. A determined hacker can crack even a secure password, so you need to choose yours with the utmost care. Using memorable things such as building room numbers and names may be a good way to ensure that members of your staff don’t forget their login details, but these are all too easy to break. Try not to use the same or similar passwords for every application either; you don’t want to make a hacker’s job any easier by giving them access to all of your systems with just one password.
For the most sensitive data, it can pay to encrypt files to ensure that even if your system is breached, the information will be unreadable to any potential cybercriminal. Digital encryption uses an algorithm to scramble files, rendering them completely nonsensical to anyone not in possession of the correct key. Encryptions can be broken, but code breaking is an incredibly highly skilled and time-consuming job; encrypted files are far less likely to be compromised by hackers than those that are left unencrypted.
If you’re worried about data security, there are procedures you and your staff can undertake to ensure that you run the best possible chance of keeping your files safe. Never respond to unsolicited emails, click on unverified email links or provide security details online; spyware that can compromise even the most secure data can be unwittingly downloaded at the mere click of a button. It is essential that your business is protected with good quality, up-to-date antivirus software too. When it comes to data capture, you should consider minimising the risk of human error and security breaches by using automated capture methods that will reduce the number of people who are exposed to your sensitive data.
Now that you know how to look after your data, you can think about how to gather it in the most effective and efficient means possible. Have a look at some of our flexible data capture methods and how they can work for you. At Document Capture Co., we can work with you to advise on the very best data security practices as well as designing and implementing unique data capture solutions. Drop us a line with your enquiry – we’d love to hear from you.