Losing your data is always dangerous, no matter what the situation is. System crash, data wipes or using an external drive can result in extensive downtime, as well as worries over confidential data being misused or lost.
In such cases, it’s important to adopt some basic approaches to secure your data which can be anything from employing a range of different backups to using an antivirus and internet security software. Here are some easy but reliable tips to protect your personal data both online and offline.
#1 Use a Range of Backups
It’s essential to have as many backups as possible, most of which can be achieved online. External drives are affordable and you can choose the one that can manage large amount of data. You can also make use of cloud services and drives that help you to update and backup versions of your hard drive and important documents. These programs can perform backups of your computer on a daily basis.
#2 Never share your personal details with strangers
The first thing you need to do before adding someone on your Facebook is to block your personal data. Don’t just share your personal details with strangers and people you just met online. Even companies hire persons to collect information from their future customers, so be very strict in not revealing any of your details.
#3 Check your password strength
Avoid using the same password over and over again. Don’t create passwords using your pet’s name or other personal information which are easy for the hackers to guess. If you have already created one, now is the time to change them and make them more secure. Your passwords should be unique and hard to guess. It should include random letters and numbers that will be hard to guess. Also, you need to use differrent passwords for your emails and accounts. It would be better for you to store these passwords in a notebook instead of your computer.
#4 Encrypt your hardware
You can use free encryption software like TrueCrypt to temporarily transform your personal data into an unreadable code. TrueCrypt simply transforms the data on your desktop or on any external media into an unreadable code.
#5 Delete unwanted data permanently
There may be some files on your computer which you no longer require. When you delete those files on your computer, they are dumped into the recycle bin. Inspite of your attempts of deleting them from recycle bin, the files are likely to exist hidden on your desktop and have the chances of getting recovered. To securely delete all the unwanted documents from your desktop for ever, you need to overwrite them with other information. Tools such as Eraser help you to do so.
#6 Use antivirus and internet security software
In today’s world, antivirus programs alone are not enough to secure your data. Think of using software package that only scans for viruses but also secure your computer from keyloggers and other spyware. It also prevents unauthorized users from accessing your computer. There are many packages on the market that performs all these features.
Make sure to update your antivirus programs at least once a week to ensure that you are always safe from the latest threats.
Many antivirus programs automatically work in the background to detect new bugs before they could invade your computer. However, it would be wise to have a complete scan of your entire system at least once in a week.