If you’re like most people, when you leave your home you place the key in the lock, turn, and secure your household when out. Do you pay your computer the same diligence, guarding your valuable data?
It’s easy to protect and secure your computer and information, but have you taken the necessary steps? Not all computer owners do – one study found that:
- 35% of computer users NEVER backed up their computer
- 51% of owners backup information once a year or NOT AT ALL
What easy steps can you take to rid yourself of worry, securing peace of mind in knowing your data is safe?
There are several ways to backup your computer’s files and data, an external hard drive being one easy solution. Find a model with suitable parameters for your needs, and try to backup your files on a monthly basis (or more often).
However, don’t get lazy in keeping the same external hard drive for a long period of years. A study found a direct relation between the age of a hard drive and lost or corrupted files. (2)
Passwords protect data, and ensure important information is not stolen or compromised. One easy fix is leveraging steganography, secretly-encrypting data via invisible ink. Only those with the proper decoder can see the obscured, private data.
For example, do you have own pictures and image files you need protected for personal or business reasons? A Windows-related function embeds files into a GIF or BMP, while other tools allow for manipulation of PDFs, HTML, and bitmaps.
Establish a Firewall
Be safe – use a firewall, especially when you’re connected to an unsecured or strange network. The FBI urges remote users be alert and aware of malicious methods used by hackers. One such endeavor involves a legitimate-looking Wi-Fi network established in a known hot spot, such as a café. Once you connect to their bogus ‘hot spot,’ IDs, passwords, and credit card numbers can be accessed by the hacker.
Guard yourself by using a firewall. Firewalls monitor your computer’s interaction with networks, safeguarding the machine from compromises and attacks. Choose from software and hardware-based resources, available in both free and paid varieties.
Implement a VPN
How many devices do you have these days, counting laptops, mobile products, and your two desktop machines? A VPN or Virtual Private Network allows you to connect all your computers together on one secure network. Moreover, this enables all your machines to share information as if attached to the same router.
About the Author:
Ted Romberg is a business data consultant who blogs about data security, data colocation, and related topics.