Our mothers have been the ones to take the best care of us from the time we were born. They’re the ones who put Band-Aids on our wounds, cleaned up the juice we spilled, and wiped our runny noses. As amazing as mothers are, even they have limits. Below are some words of advice that you may have received from your mother that might not be applicable with online data storage today:
“You should share with everyone”:
Almost all of us heard this well-intended advice from our mothers when we were younger, but in the real world, not everyone is looking out for you. When sharing information on the Cloud, you should be very selective in who you share that information with. Create firewalls in order to make it even more restrictive. Share only on a need-to-know basis.
This advice might have been good when you were speeding downhill on roller blades, but when it comes to online data storage you need to keep up to speed with the latest software. If you get behind in software updates, you are more vulnerable to hacking, and your efficiency will be hampered as well.
“Follow your gut, no matter what”:
There are a lot of situations in life when following our gut is the right thing to do, and mothers tend to have an incredible sense of intuition. That being said, in the online world you need to remain vigilant and even skeptical. It is a mark of wisdom, not paranoia, to set up passwords and use secured networks.
“There’s nothing you can’t do”:
This mentality is dangerous in the online world. If you feel invincible when you’re online, that makes you all the more vulnerable. Hackers are well-trained in what they do, and they are desperate to take advantage of you. Assume that they are trying to get your information, so be proactive in protecting your data.
“You can always trust your family”:
For many of us, our family members are the ones we can trust the most. If that’s the case for you, consider yourself lucky. Unfortunately, there are many examples where people have had their personal information exploited by family members, so be careful even with those you are closest to.
“Actions speak louder than words”:
In our daily interactions, this is great advice: Our actions really show who we are. Online, however, our words are who we are and are oftentimes the first impression other people get of us. Your words are powerful, so use them well. Use tone and punctuation that accurately reflect your ideas, because your words will be judged and scrutinized. Because of online data storage, those words can stick around for a LONG time.
“What’s the worst that could happen?”:
This advice sounds good because it can calm down nerves and help us think with perspective and take risks. However, sometimes we think we can cut corners and neglect basic security measures when we underestimate consequences. Having your personal identification stolen is a big deal. It can add a lot of stress and frustration, so be aware that “the worst” can bring serious problems.
“Be open with your feelings”:
You need to be careful what you say online, even if you think you’re completely secure (technologically and emotionally). The information you and your employees post can harm your organization more than ever because it’s easier to find by outside sources. One company has a policy for all employees to write as if the Wall Street Journal was censoring everything they wrote, whether it was an email, memo, or instant message. Policies like this help a company to avoid embarrassing data leaks.
“You need to date, so I set up an online profile for you”:
Don’t let others define who you are online. This is especially applicable when you are sharing a document online. If you are part of a group project, make sure you use document tracking so people can know what you contributed and what you didn’t. It’s part of being personally accountable.
In the online world, if you’ve been hacked or treated unfairly, do not hesitate to tattletale on the guilty party. The earlier you report, and the more information you report, the more likely you are to track down the criminal. Don’t worry about inconveniencing authorities because we’re all working together to promote a safer internet.