More personal and business information is being shared and distributed online than ever before. Because of that, it’s important to do as much as you can to keep your digital data safe from hackers. There are a variety of tactics that can help with giving your information protection. Here are a few of the best ways to protect your digital data from hackers.
- Upload them to cloud storage.
Storing documents, pictures, and videos in cloud storage can be a safer option than storing them on your PC. Cloud companies usually make use of more robust cybersecurity measures to protect all of your sensitive data. The servers that have your data are located in warehouses that most cloud company employees don’t have access to. Additionally, all files that get stored on a cloud server are encrypted. Another benefit you gain from storing files on the cloud is you decrease the amount of clutter stored on any of your devices, and if any of them should ever crash, you’ll still be able to have access to your files.
Platforms such as Google Docs, Dropbox, and Yahoo Mail all make use of cloud services. Nonetheless, if you want to be more assured that your data is secure, be sure to have a strong password and double authentication. Strong passwords should contain numbers, upper and lowercase letters, and special characters. You should also avoid names or other information easily guessed through a Google search or looking at your Facebook profile. Double authentication is an option most online accounts offer. The two steps will generally be your password, and then entering a code number you receive on your phone.
- Use a password manager.
A password manager can generate and remember a variety of difficult passwords for all of your accounts. Some of the best ones can also monitor your accounts for any security breaches, sync your passwords between your phone and computer, and suggest changing a password that’s weak or is a duplicate. When you set it up, you can browse the Internet as you normally would, and when you log in to a website, all you have to do is type in the password to your password manager, and it will automatically fill in the appropriate log-in information. You’ll no longer have to think about which email address, username, or password you used for a particular website. When creating new accounts, your password manager will offer to create a secure and random password for you.
- Transfer files to DVDs.
When hackers are able to successfully access a device, they can steal, alter, or delete all of the information on it. One way you can prevent this from happening to your files is by transferring them to a DVD. Different types of devices will require different software to transfer the files. As an example, if you have a Windows computer, you’ll need to utilize DVD burning software for Windows. Once you’ve got it downloaded, follow the instructions for transferring your file to the CD, and then your data will be protected.
- Install operating system updates.
While it can be aggravating at times to constantly perform system updates, it’s necessary since the updates have critical security patches that protect your computer from recent threats. Your device will be more at risk if you choose to install the update. With Windows, the updates are usually done monthly. To be sure your device is continually downloading the latest security updates, enable automatic updates.
- Use anti-virus protection.
If you’re unfamiliar with what malware is, it’s software that’s designed to infiltrate or damage your computer without your consent. Examples of malware include worms, computer viruses, spyware, Trojan horses, and many other kinds. They can be found on emails and websites or hidden in downloadable files such as videos and photos. The most effective way to avoid your computer getting infected is by installing an anti-virus protection program, doing periodic scans for spyware, and avoiding clicking on any suspicious website, email, or link. Be mindful that scammers have sometimes disguised malware as an email from a friend or as a useful website. It’s essential to exercise some caution whenever you click on any link or email you’re unfamiliar with.
- Overwrite deleted files.
Files that you delete on your device still exist on your hard drive, even if you’ve emptied your Recycle Bin. As a result, anyone who gains unauthorized access to your device can still retrieve sensitive files you’ve removed. File recovery programs can scan your hard drive for the deleted files, and then restore them. You can partially overwrite the file, and a file recovery program will only be able to recover part of the data. You can also utilize software that automatically wipes the hard drive’s free space by writing other data over that free space, and thus erasing the deleted files, preventing them from being recovered.
- Encrypt data on SIM cards and USB drives.
It can be more difficult for any criminals to interpret your personal data when you choose to encrypt it on your removable storage devices. SIM cards and USB drives are examples of storage devices that can be removed and plugged into another device, allowing users to access all the data stored on it. The information on all your files can be stolen, and viruses or malware can be installed on your flash drive to infect any computer it’s plugged into. You can encrypt your USB drives by installing a third-party data encryption tool and following the instructions. For encrypting your SIM card, instructions will vary depending on what phone you’re using. If you have an iPhone, all you have to do is set a passcode/PIN for the device.
As personal information continues to become more digital, it becomes increasingly crucial to do all you can to keep your data protected. The consequences of not protecting your data could mean significant financial losses. Following these tips will help prevent criminals from acquiring your personal information and allow you to have more peace of mind.