Information can be a powerful tool as long as you understand what it is. Information is data with context and meaning. Let’s use an example: 20B. By itself it’s merely a combination of numbers and letters—it doesn’t mean anything. With the added context of an airline boarding pass, it tells you where your seat is on a plane. 

The other data on the boarding pass provides a clearer picture of your whereabouts because it includes data such as:

  • Your name
  • The flight departure date and time
  • Your destination and arrival time

Your boarding pass may not tell the whole story, but it includes the information needed to let someone know your location at a specific date and time.

This information seems rather mundane, but in the hands of someone with a malicious mind and means to gather other related data, it could be used to cause you grief. A criminal could use this data to steal your physical or virtual property.  So, how do you protect your information?

The National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST) defines information security as:

The protection of information and information systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction in order to provide confidentiality, integrity, and availability.

The core of information security revolves around three keys points in the NIST definition:

  1. Confidentiality: ensuring that only authorized individuals have access to your information
  2. Integrity: ensuring that your information is authentic and protected from unauthorized modification or destruction
  3. Availability: ensuring that your information is ready when you want and need it

Most literature on information security focuses on sources of electronic information (smartphones, laptops, email, on-line accounts, social media, etc.) and may sound advanced. You should also know that information security also applies to physical items such as credit cards, driver licenses, passports, and printed documents. Think of everything you have to do if you lose your wallet:

  • Cancel your credit cards
  • Get replacements insurance cards
  • Go to the BVM to get a new driver’s license

There are common sense things you can do to protect your information. Be cognizant of the personal information you give out (verbally as well as electronically) and provide only the minimum information needed. Close or lock your devices whenever you’re away from them and always use a security code, password, or other access tools.  Also, be aware of phishing and other scams designed to get your information.

In the Information Age, your information has value, and you need to learn to protect yourself. netlogx security management services are designed to empower enterprise organizations to manage their business environment, rather than being managed by it. Contact us today.