A Beginner’s Guide to Securing Data
Encrypting data shouldn’t be seen as an activity only for those that have something to hide. We all have sensitive, important data that shouldn’t be accessed by other individuals whether it falls on finances, medical records, or simply data that doesn’t need to be known. Data is valuable which means we need to keep it protected; to do so we need to take the precautions and understand how it’s done.
The info included in this article covers the basic in the scope of cyber security but it’s actually more than enough to keep your average, sensitive data out the prying hands of the general population — considering that while you’re reading this you may be in that “oh crap, when’s the last time I’ve done these?” moments.
Here are some things you should be doing, pretty much right now, to keep your digital information safe.
Using the Right Tools
Hardware is especially important when it comes to the security of your data because physical theft is the easiest way to lose your information. You could turn your back while at a shop and off someone goes with your laptop. You could be caught off guard in a crowd and suddenly your phone is swiped. Securing hardware is just as important as locking down the software.
There are a few things you may want to consider:
· Keeping important backups on an encrypted flash drive so that important, private information remains in your control and can’t be accessed.
· Using a laptop lock or even a metal, mesh insert for your backpack to stop individuals from snatch and grabs or slicing into your pack.
· Security systems if you are in an office environment – a combination of locks, cameras, detection units, and responsive security systems services.
Physical and online backups to secured hard drives and cloud-based accounts will want to be done but remember that individuals may physically enter the location so it’s always good to be safe.
Great defense also needs a great offense – in terms of security this means that you should be proactive with protecting your information through the use of due diligence and appropriate software such as firewalls and anti-malware/virus programs.
Pro options will provide you with greater protection but the free options from the following are more than enough to deter would-be attackers most of the time:
· Avast Antivirus
· Panda Antivirus
· Kaspersky Total Security
· Avira Free Antivirus/Mac Security
These have been tried and tested extensively so you know you’re starting your data protection strong by keeping the malicious activities out.
Other forms of staying secure would be to use no-script plugins to prevent scripts that are often exploited and injected into sites to gain access to your computer. Ad blockers and anonymous browsing through Tor and encrypted email are also an important thing to consider based on the type of information you may have.
Perhaps the best way to protect your information is to simply be on guard and do your due diligence when interacting with websites and others while on the Web (and in the real world).
Due diligence comes about through:
· Digging deeper into official documents to find the legitimacy of a business or individual
· Checking reviews, scam reports, and experiences before clicking through or making a purchase
· Not taking promises and claims on face value – having them explain in further details
Phishing is all too easy when the person is under distress or do not fully understand security policies; social engineering is usually the easiest way to extract important, private information which could be used in a malicious manner. Knowing the common techniques of phishing and staying diligent when browsing the Web, interacting online, or even talking to others in the real world will shut down a vast majority of attacks on your information and data.
All-in-all a combination of great hardware, up-to-date software, and general understanding & diligence will keep your data and information safe when you’re using the Web and in contact with others in the real world. Never let your guard down when interacting with new websites, files, or people because the moment your guard is down is the moment when you make the mistake.