Data security is becoming a major concern for businesses and individuals. We’re all doing more online, from remote working, managing the bills or handling your company’s payroll. With more sensitive data going online, it’s important to protect it, whether you use Managed IT Services or manage your IT needs yourself.
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- Encrypt your data. You don’t need to be a tech expert to encrypt data. There are lots of tools available now to encrypt emails and other information. You can easily encrypt, decrypt, sign and verify emails, protect files and scramble your data to keep it private and protected.
- Backup your data. Having a backup keeps your documents safe if a device is lost, stolen or compromised. Backup documents on something like an external hard drive or in the cloud, so they’re not lost along with your device.
- Protect against Malware. Anti-malware protection lays a foundation of security for your devices. Malware is designed to infiltrate and damage a computer, and can come in the form of viruses, worms, spyware and more. It can get into your device from websites or emails or even hidden in files, freeware or shareware. Avoid getting these infections by running a strong anti-virus program, and do regular checks for spyware. Be aware of what you click on or download too.
- Make old hard drives unreadable. If you’re throwing out an old computer, don’t forget to clear the harddrive and prevent your data from being stolen that way. Transfer any files elsewhere. Sanitize by disk shredding, magnetically cleaning the disk or using software to wipe the desk clean. Destroy old computer disks.
- Install operating system updates. Updates can be a nuisance, but they’re needed. These updates often contain critical security patches that will protect your device from new threats. Set your operating system to update automatically so you never miss them and put your machine at risk.
- Secure your wireless network. Always secure your wireless network, whether at home or at work, with a password. This prevents other people from accessing your network, for free WiFi access or to get at your private information. Your network should be secure, encrypted and hidden.
- Turn off your computer. When you’ve finished using your computer or laptop, turn it off. Leaving a device on and connected to the internet could give someone the opportunity to attack it. An on device offers a scammer 24 hour access to attempt to install malware. Turn it off when you’re done.
- Use a firewall. A firewall will assist in blocking dangerous viruses, spyware or programs from getting into your system. Look for hardware based firewalls, like those often built into network routers, to get a better level of security.
- Use a passphrase instead of a password. A passphrase basically works as a longer password, that is much harder to guess. Instead of choosing a single password, use a phrase, like a song lyric or a quote that you can remember easily. Use the first letter of each word in the phrase, with a few numbers and special characters to create a secure passphrase.
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