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Data security and the importance of getting it right

Information is undoubtedly your – and your organisation’s – most valuable asset. easyJet’s Head of Information Security, James Hall shares some top tips to help protect your information…

Information is undoubtedly your – and your organisation’s – most valuable asset.

So how can you protect your information – both personal and that of your organisation? Our top tips are as follows:
  • Public information
    Understand your digital footprint, Google yourself and understand how the world sees you. 

  • Think about your device
    The device you use is the window to your information. Are you confident that when you enter your password, it is not being syphoned off by an unscrupulous piece of malware or by a key logger on the device? Unfortunately, there are so many examples of information theft through these and many other methods, so being sure of your device’s security is the first step in securing your information.

  • Shore up your defences
    At a corporate level, your organisation will be installing malware protection, firewalls, and keeping up to date with security patches for your software as a bare minimum. Do the same for your personal devices. On this point a computer is a computer, don’t be fooled into thinking that only Microsoft computers need protecting!

  • Extend beyond your computer
    Smartphones and tablets are also computing devices, often transacting the same valuable data that their bigger brothers (desktops and laptops) are so well known for, therefore treat their security with the same importance. There are numerous security controls on the device that can be configured or installed to help you with this.  

  • Keep your eyes peeled
    The beauty of our digital world is that you can work from almost anywhere. However, be mindful of wandering eyes if you are working in an airport or on a plane and you are typing in a password or working on that confidential document, be vigilant.

  • Don’t plug it in!
    Be very wary of USB sticks. We often don’t know where they have been or where they originated, and can contain a multitude of digital nasties - If in doubt don’t plug it in.

  • Change your passwords
    It should go without saying, but many of us have the same passwords across multiple platforms, and have had the same passwords for years. This means that as soon as one of your accounts is breached, you potentially open your other accounts to the same fate… So use strong passwords and make them all different.

  • Close up shop!
    Whenever you leave your computer, lock your screen. It just takes a moment, and a password will give your device an extra layer of protection.

  • Think before you click
    A spam email doesn’t need to contain a multitude of special characters to be a scam. A seemingly innocent email may be contaminated, so always be sure of links you are clicking on. If in doubt, delete.

While we never want to imagine that our information can be compromised however, by following some simple steps, remaining vigilant and careful in every online interaction, you can greatly minimise the risk to yourself and your organisation.

James Hall
Head of Information Security

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