Behaviors That Place You at the Risk of Data Exposure


Embedded in our digital appendages is our most sensitive information. Financial records, passwords, important work documents, and more. Compounding matters are when you engage in risky online behaviors, as it leaves you more susceptible to data exposure. By shedding light on these actions, we hope we can mitigate your risk of a data breach from happening.

Falling for the Bait

You receive a message on Facebook messenger from a friend or loved one. The message contains some emotional component such as “I can’t believe you did this or someone said this about you,” then provides a link.

Another trick, we’ve spoken about before is you’ll receive an email from a bank or retailer stating there are problems with your account. As part of the message, they’ll provide a link where you can give them more information to “fix” your problem.

Lastly, you could receive an email or instant message from your boss or work colleague. It starts out simple enough with a basic conversation. After this communication opens up, they might ask for financial details such as a statement or access to sensitive data.

In all these cases, a natural inclination would be to explore it more. After all, impulse provides an emotional response and one of our ways to cope with it would be to learn more. Yet, in each of these instances, there are clues that shed some light on the real intentions. Consider this:

  • Banks and retailers don’t need your information, they have it already.
  • While it’s perfectly reasonable your friends or loved ones want to bring important matters to your attention, if it was that important why wouldn’t they call or text?
  • What’s the purpose of providing company data to a fellow employee and why would a boss ask for this since they have the information?

The goal is here is to get in the habit of asking questions before reacting. When you do, you’ll discover gaps in logic, revealing the real intention behind these messages.

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Visiting Malicious Websites

Some websites contain malicious code which could infect your device with spyware, viruses or ransomware. And since it’s difficult to isolate all of the websites, some safe practices you can employ include visiting websites you’re familiar with, listening to browser warnings when they say a website isn’t secure (Google Chrome is one of the latest to use these tools), and having anti-malware software downloaded onto your device, as some of these programs help you steer clear of dirty websites.

Downloading Apps from Unknown Marketplaces

Say you’re on an entertainment website and they offer a free download of the latest game. Thinking nothing of it, you download the game thus completing the transfer of malicious code.

Meanwhile, a solution; albeit not a perfect one is to use reputable marketplaces such as Google Play to download apps. Even better, research the app before downloading. This includes checking user reviews, Googling it to make sure nothing ransomware-related appears in the news, and reading the app’s permissions.

Overall, these three steps are a good start to protecting your data. And if you lose files for any reason, our recovery experts at Outsource Data Recovery will help. Using our industry-leading expertise and resources, we’ll examine your device and provide solutions when applicable. All told, you’ll find our process to be informative and stress-free, as it should be. Contact us today!