When discussing privacy in the digital world, a common trend, amongst business executives, is to object that they have nothing to hide.

Really?

Everyone has something to hide! An improper photo, a private message, a salary statement.

But where to focus?

While your IT department may handle a few things, you should focus on the following:

Make it hard to compromise your account(s)

Identity compromise is the most common attack nowadays. It counts for 95% of all web application attacks. Imagine for a moment, if someone hacks into your account, he has access to everything… Your emails, your documents, your photos, etc.

You might think “Who will hack MY account?”. Bad news coming… this process is automated and effective. Regularly, through email scams.

You may assume “I have nothing to hide!”. Better think again. Attackers can use your account to launch more hits to your colleagues, vendors, clients and family who trust you.

A countermeasure is to enable multi-factor authentication. In that case, whenever you log in to your account, it will ask for another verification method. For example, a code sent to your mobile phone via SMS. Tough for a hacker to bypass.

Go yo your Office 365, GMAIL, Dropbox, etc. and enable it.

Don’t let them crack your password(s)

This goes without saying, but overlooked and -to be honest- hard to carry out.

I am in the IT industry for almost 20 years and I know a handful of CEOs that use complex, unique, passwords across their accounts.

You can protect yourself by using a cloud-based password manager. In that situation, you will use a secure vault to store -and generate- unique/complex passwords across your accounts. This vault will be encrypted and accessible only by you. Multi-factor verification and a single (complex) password will protect it.

Try LastPass, it’s free!

Protect your stolen (or lost) mobile phone

Nowadays, your mobile phone is also your agenda. You keep everything in it. Email messages, notes, photos, even financial documents.

What will happen if you lose, or someone steals your device?

Chaos! Whoever has access to it, has access to your life. Your kid’s photos, messages with your spouse, work emails… You name it.

Yet, there is a simple way to protect yourself, from such circumstances.

You can simply encrypt your device! It’s easy considering that all modern devices support encryption.

Just go to your device’s settings and enable it. That’s all.

Enhance your recovery options

I assume that your IT department will handle your company’s backup. What about your personal devices though? What will happen if you delete your photos or your documents? What if you smash your phone?

Use a backup application that is reliable and easy to manage. Use the same application across all your devices (laptop, tablet, mobile phone).

Look at Acronis, it is simple to use and cost-effective.