Simple Online Data Security Tips to Follow Now

July 16, 2016

9:00 pm

Cyber attacks are a relentless threat to any data security. A halfway decent hacker has almost immediate access to most people’s data at any given time. And data can be compromised right in front of a user’s face without them even realizing it. Hacking is so successful because attacks hit where people are least prepared. Thieves always go after the most vulnerable points of entry and take the most unexpected gains. Basically, no one can really predict where or what a hacker is targeting, so it makes prevention all that much tougher.

However, the fight is not lost. Any novice computer user can take these few simple stepsto deter the majority of attacks. Vigilance is more important than know-how.

Perform Routine and Required System Updates

In addition to getting rid of bugs that slow the system down, updates repair security walls. This functions similarly to locking a door. It’s as simple as clicking yes when the program asks to be updated. It might get annoying to install an update every week or even every day, but it should be done as often as the system wants to do it. Not doing so would be like leaving the door unlocked sometimes. It’s risky.

Install Firewalls and System Scanning Software

No one can possibly remember to scan all the necessary points of a system manually. The point of computers is for them to do all the work. For them to work, though, they need to be set to be continually scanned. Also, most systems come with firewalls. It doesn’t take a wizard to activate a firewall in the control panel. It takes all of ten minutes of a self-education that will save years worth of hassles. Without a firewall, any virus can corrupt an operating system as easily as a thief walks into a house that doesn’t have a door.

Be Mindful Of Your Internet Browsing Habits

Bad habits are the downfall of all human activity. This can’t be stressed enough because, time after time, people continue to fall prey to spammy sites that bait users into poisonous traps. Avoid sketchy websites, particularly those with a lot of pop-up ads. And never ever open emails from strangers, especially don’t download any attachments or give sensitive information. It sounds obvious, but people still seem to need these warnings.

Create Secure Password Protection

Servers, networks and online accounts all need strong passwords. Those kinds of passwords that look like complete nonsense are the ones that make the most sense. In fact, go a step further and hide networks from wi-fi scanners. It’s as simple as asking the provider to set up a network to not show up. If a hacker doesn’t know that a network exists, that makes it harder to break into. And, make it a habit to change passwords often.

Utilize Cloud Storage and Encryption

For some reason, cloud storage and encryption both elicit controversial public opinion.

Cloud storage is one element of a watertight backup strategy. It’s also the easiest way to protect from data loss in the event documents become compromised or deleted. Systems are easy to backup and can be set up to do so automatically.

There seems to be some perception that off site servers make a network more vulnerable. In reality, having someone oversee a locked system that is experienced at keeping locks secure is a far more secure way to do things. It’s like locking the door — inside of a locked vault with an armed security guard stand outside. It seems like a lot of work to go to, but probably not compared to the amount of work it took to create the documents in the first place.

Only seven percent of users backup data on a daily basis. Backing up and storing work in multiple locations is smart. Having a system in place to automatically do that is genius.

The main mistake people make with cloud services is to rely on one service as the only source for backups. Many businesses that keep all their eggs in one basket lose them all if that basket goes offline. By using an in-house mainframe and maybe even multiple offsite systems, all the bases are covered in keeping documents safe and accessible at any time.

In short, keeping data safe is a user’s responsibility. Storing data off site with security professionals can only help your cause in protecting from compromised data.

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Daniel is a freelance writer and observationist, graduate of Linguistics, former English teacher and failed comedian. He has also worked in university libraries and pysch units.
His interests include mindfulness, poverty and underground music of the Pacific Northwest. He is an ardent champion of free form, terrestrial radio and is a DJ at Radio Boise.

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