Computers and the internet have opened so many doors for businesses and consumers. We can find information and the touch of a button, purchase anything you can think of online and connect with people from all over the globe. Of course, with any technological advance, there are always difficulties and risks. Protecting our personal information is crucial. Below are some tips on how to protect your business and your own personal information.
It may sound high-tech, but encrypting files is something anyone can do! Encrypting a file is basically making a document or file password protected. Many current user applications offer password protection as a standard-setting you can easily set up on your own. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to encrypt your private information.
Making sure you have backup copies of everything is very important. If your computer is destroyed, stolen or even compromised, you know that you still have everything. This backup should be placed on a separate hard drive, preferably in a different location from your current computer. If you don’t prefer this method, you can utilize cloud storage. Cloud storage allows you to access files using a simple login from any computer, anywhere that has an internet connection. It is very secure and you don’t have to worry about keeping track of that backup external hard drive.
Properly Disposing of Old Equipment
Computers and other equipment do not last forever. We all know that. When our computer goes to the technology graveyard, don’t assume any of the info left on the computer’s hard drive can no longer be accessed. Unless every piece of your system is absolutely destroyed there is always a way to pull information off of a computer hard drive. If you decide that it is time to upgrade or get a new computer, make sure you are properly wiping your system clean of all of your private information. Many operating systems have a built-in feature you can use to wipe your system but the best way to clean off old systems is by using digital software. Here are the best programs you can use to make sure that old hard drive won’t come back to haunt you in the future.
Updating Your System
Typically, when you purchase a computer it comes with an operating system pre-loaded. This operating system has been meticulously designed to help users keep their systems running as efficiently and securely as possible. The best way to make sure your systems are doing all they can to help you is by making sure all of your software is up to date. Yes, we all get those pop-up reminders on our computers that we ignore and ignore until our computer forces us to install it. We really need to break this habit! The 5 minutes it takes to download this update is worth the inconvenience. You can even set your computer to automatically install these updates at certain times of the day to make it even easier to maintain your operating system. Making sure your systems are working at their peak performance is one of the easiest ways to protect your information.
Turn It Off
Make it a standard procedure for your employees to log out of their work stations each day and completely shut down their systems. Leaving computers turned on and logged in is very risky. Even if your building is locked at the end of the day you never know who could get inside and access all of your information.
Use a Firewall
According to Cisco.com, “A firewall is a network security device that monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic and decides whether to allow or block specific traffic based on a defined set of security rules.” Utilizing a firewall is one of the best ways to protect the information on your computers and can even make sure anything coming into your system or leaving your system is properly secured. Here is a list of the best firewall programs available.
We rely heavily on computers to help run day-to-day operations in our businesses and even our daily lives. These tools are wonderful to have, but there is always a risk involved. Being protected and prepared for anything is another way we can insure that we are the best we can be for our customers and employees.
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