Data security should be a main focus for businesses large and small as well for individuals. We’re all running more of our lives online, from remote working, managing your bills or handling your company’s security. With more of our sensitive data being handled online, it’s very important to keep it safe with a plan for data security and disaster recovery.
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- Encrypt your data. You don’t need to be an expert in technology to encrypt your data. There are many tools available now to encrypt your emails and other essential information. You can easily use these tools or plugins to encrypt, decrypt, sign and verify emails, protect files and scramble your data to keep it secret and safe.
- Backup your data. Having data backed up keeps any important documents safe if a device is lost, stolen or otherwise compromised. Store these second sets of 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 gives your devices a foundation of security. Malware is designed to infiltrate or damage a device. It can come in many forms, including viruses, worms or spyware. Malware may get onto your computer from websites or emails or it can even hidden in files, photos, freeware or shareware. Avoid getting these attacks by using a strong anti-virus program, and do regular checks for spyware. Be sensible about what you click on or download either from the internet or from your emails.
- Install operating system updates. Updates can be a nuisance, especially if they’re going to take a long time, but they’re essential to keep your device safe. These updates often contain critical security patches that will protect your device from newly discovered threats. It’s often wise to set your operating system to update automatically, so you never miss these crucial updates and put your machine at risk.
- Keep your wireless network secure. Always secure your wireless network, whether it’s your personal network at home or the company network at work, with a secure password. This stops other people accessing your network, for something simple like free WiFi access or for more sinister purposes like getting at your private information. Your network should be secure, encrypted and hidden.
- Turn off your computer. When you’ve finished working at your computer or laptop, turn it off. Leaving a device switched on when you’re not using it and connected to the internet could give someone the opportunity to target it. A device left switched on offers a scammer 24 hour access to attempt to install malware.
- Stop using passwords and use a passphrase instead. A passphrase works the same way as a password, but is more secure, as it’s harder to guess. Aim for a minimum of 15 characters. Instead of choosing a word, choose a phrase you can remember. A favorite quote or a song lyric is ideal. Take the first letter from each word in the phrase and add some numbers and special characters to create a secure passphrase.