Securing Your Data
With technology never far from our fingertips, the amount of data we produce each week is vast. Whether you’re looking to protect your personal or business files, here are some easy but reliable steps to securing your digital information:
Encrypt your Hard Drive
Temporarily convert your information into an unreadable code with the use of free encryption software like TrueCrypt. This utility works by encrypting both data on your computer itself and on any external systems like USB sticks or external hard drives. The way it works is by creating another drive on your computer or USB which converts and protects all the files that are within it.
Delete Data Permanently
Part of the process of securing your computer data, is to make sure that you permanently delete any files you no longer require. When you delete an item on your desktop or from your Document folder, it lurks within the recycle bin. Even when you have emptied the recycle bin, the files still exist hidden on your computer disk and have the potential to be recovered. To securely delete all your unwanted computer files for ever, you need to overwrite it with other information. There are several tools to help you complete this process, such as: Eraser, Freeraser and Blank and Secure.
Check your Wi-fi Security
If you connect to Wi-fi on the go, you’ve probably been surprised just how many networks are accessible at any one time. Make sure your Wi-fi network is not one of these. It’s important to secure your network to protect the data on your computer and any new data which is sent via e-mail or using websites. To do this, ensure that your Wi-fi has a secure password and that you are using an encrypted link between your home router and laptop. When using the web out of the office, think carefully before sending confidential information or bank details when using an unprotected Wi-fi network.
Check your Password Strength
Do you re-use the same passwords over and over again? Are your passwords based on personal information or your favourite TV shows or books? If so, now is the time to revisit them and make them more secure. Experienced hackers can guess commonly used passwords with ease, and with so much of your information available on sites like Facebook it’s easy for even amateurs to figure out ‘forgotten password’ questions. The safest passwords are those that are made using password generators; these will come up with random letters and numbers that will be very hard to fathom.
Use SecretSync with Your Dropbox Account
When choosing a cloud storage space, Dropbox has become the go to for most online personal and business storage needs. Did you know however, that your Dropbox files cannot be encrypted and can be taken and passed to the Government should they ask for it at any time? To protect your files from this ever happening (though unlikely) use a protection service like SecretSync which acts a link between your laptop and Dropbox, encrypting information on the way.
Secure USB Sticks
By far the most important piece of hardware that you need to ensure is secure is your portable USB device. They are so easy to lose, forget and have stolen yet a majority aren’t even armed with basic mobile data protection features. Look for devices that boast advanced security features and at the very least go for an encrypted device. Secure USB devices aren’t expensive these days and you can get them online or in store for next to nothing.