The security of digital files is a concern for most people, as cyber-thieves can use compromised files to view sensitive information, gain access to financial accounts, and steal identities. Taking steps to secure data and digital files is essential for both individuals and businesses. Here are six tips to protect your digital files.
Add Extra Security Layers
Many computers and devices come with basic security software, but this may not be enough to protect your data. All computers, tablets, smartphones, and other devices with access to the internet should have antivirus and anti-malware software installed. All security software should be set to update automatically, as this helps to ensure protection against the latest threats. You should secure your devices, online accounts, and apps or programs with access to sensitive information with strong passwords and (if possible) two-step security, which requires extra information to confirm your identity.
Take Care When in the Cloud
Cloud storage is a convenient tool for storing and backing up information, but data stored in the cloud is vulnerable to hackers. Avoid storing sensitive data, such as usernames, passwords, and bank account details, in the cloud. If you run a business and need to store information online, you can help protect your clients’ privacy by using customer reference numbers rather than names, addresses, and contact details. You can then keep a separate file containing all sensitive information connected to the reference numbers.
Use Encryption Software
Encryption software can be used to protect individual files, folders or whole hard drives. Data encryption programs allow you to protect individual files with a password, security key, or even your fingerprint. Encrypting files before uploading them to the cloud provides an extra layer of protection when making backups and storing essential information online. To encrypt your entire hard drive, you can use the tools provided with your operating system or download third-party software to keep your data safe.
Avoid Wireless Connections
Wireless connections are far less secure than wired connections, and you should avoid them when transferring sensitive data. Hackers can easily intercept information in transit through a wireless connection, particularly when using a network that doesn’t require a password. If you use programs, apps, or software that can sync data online, and are intending to connect to a wireless network, make sure you disable the auto-sync feature, as someone can transfer data without your knowledge.
Destroy Old Hard Drives
Before the drives are shredded, each one has its serial number scanned and logged. This number is then given to you, the customer, on the Certificate of Destruction. After the drives are shredded, the materials left over are sent to Total Reclaim to be recycled with other electronic scraps.
We offer a personalized, card style thumb drive video recording of the entire process to file along with your record of destruction including hard drive serial numbers for the ultimate level of audit and security compliance that is unparalleled anywhere.
✓ HD serial # scanning & reporting
✓ Witnessed physical destruction
✓ Certificate of destruction provided
✓ Electronic Surveillance of process provided
Keep an eye out for any suspicious activity on your computers and devices, such as unfamiliar programs running in the background; this could be a sign of malware infection. Pay attention to any changes in the way your device works, such as slow running speed, program crashes, or unusual activities. It’s also a good idea to check and monitor internet usage, as unexplained data transfers could indicate that a hacker has accessed your system.
Keeping digital files safe is essential for preventing unauthorized access to sensitive information. Adding extra security layers, taking care when choosing which data to upload to the cloud, using encryption software, avoiding wireless connections, and staying vigilant to unexplained activities on your devices will all help to keep your data safe.