Cyber-crime is not a myth or a branch of the CSI series and many can testify to this. It has become more important than ever to secure your personal information from preying eyes and hackers. Many of us may not understand how hacking works but it does not mean that one must be ignorant about it. Knowledge is power after all.
How does one secure your data?
The word data encryption refers to measures put in place to prevent unauthorized parties from gaining access to information. There are many ways to secure your data from hackers and malware. Here are a few suggestions:
Making back-ups of your data is one of the most important ways you can protect yourself. There are various cloud storing tools to do this – Dropbox, Google Drive, One Drive and others. Depending on how valuable the information is, it is a good idea to have back-ups stored off site in case there is a fire or someone breaks into your office. How often you back-up your files is up to you but it can be done daily, weekly and even monthly.
Did you know that you can protect valuable or sensitive documents by setting a password on Microsoft Office? Oh yes! Simply click on “Tools”, “Options”, “Security tab” and type in your password. This will prevent wandering eyes from accessing the document or the information it contains. If you are looking for a program that is a bit more secure, try zipping software that compresses and encrypts your documents.
Protect your computer from software that was designed to infiltrate your computer with the aim to cause serious damage without you even knowing its there. This includes spyware, trojan horses and all sorts of computer viruses. One can easily get one of these pests by opening an unsecure email attachment or going to a ‘dodgy’ website. Save yourself the hassle of being a victim and get a proper anti-virus program for your computer.
Encrypt your data
Encrypting your data is very easy. You can download various tools online to do all the work for you. For example, GPG is a plug-in designed for Apple Mail.
Do you have permission?
Sitting at a coffee shop that has free wi-fi is great but not if the wi-fi is not password secured. Have you noticed that you may get a message saying that the network is not secure and can cause harm to your device? This is quite serious. Others may be able to access your private information without you having control over it. Make sure you log onto networks that are secured and also add a password to your own network, whether it is at work or home.
Shut your computer down
At the end of the day, remember to shut your computer down. This is not because your computer needs the break, but leaving your computer unattended may give hackers and scammers an opportunity to cause problems for you.
There are many ways to protect yourself from being a victim of cyber-crime. Follow this link for a list of 101 ways and be safe this holiday season.