No matter if you are trying to protect data on your company computer or your home laptop or desktop, some general rules regarding your data privacy and security should always be applied. If you keep your projects and work related files on your computer, losing such data may be a huge setback for your work or you might even lose your job if that happens at a bad time, for example, when you are preparing to file your report or deliver an important presentation to your clients or supervisors. Thinking about this on time may save you from a lot of headaches.
With the above-mentioned in mind, here are some general steps and precautionary measures on how to protect your data.
Install antivirus protection. Don’t just leave everything to fate. This is one of those important steps that you can take and that either cost nothing or include a very small fee. With a lot of free antivirus software options around the web, you can definitely pick one that you like and that has good reviews.
Install firewall protection. As with antivirus, there are lots of free firewall applications on the Internet so you can download the one you like most and use it to protect your system from intrusions. On top of those freeware applications, there is a great deal of professional cost-effective options as well as hardware firewalls. Apart from blocking external connections to your computer, the firewall can frequently help you to block some local files from making connections to online destinations. If you see some unknown software trying to connect to the Internet, you can, of course, Google the name of that file and see what that file actually does, but as a precaution you can temporarily block it until you are certain.
Keep your antivirus and firewall up-to-date. Keep all your software and system up-to-date especially when it comes to antivirus, firewall or any other malware detection software. There is a reason why manufacturers release their regular updates.
Do not install unnecessary browser toolbars. Unless you know with certainty that you need a certain toolbar and you can make use out of it, then simply do not install it. Occasionally when you install freeware software, you will notice that a toolbar that you did not intend to use or install starts appearing in your browser. Try to uninstall such toolbars as soon as possible. Nothing good can come out of it.
Download software from trusted sources. Try to download your new software only from trusted sources. Quite frequently the price of having some software for free is that an additional toolbar or software will be installed to your computer. Keep in mind that good things rarely come for free, so before installing some freeware make sure to read reviews on it or check the source of that software to determine whether or not you can trust it.
Configure strong passwords. People frequently configure plain passwords for important access details, like their email accounts, work restricted areas, etc. This is not a good practice, and such passwords occasionally get hacked. To avoid such unpleasant situations, try to configure strong passwords, wherever possible. Besides numbers and at least one CAPS letter, adding symbols like $ or % can significantly increase the strength of your password and protect your precious data from intruders.
By utilizing a couple of these tips, or all of them, you can significantly increase your data privacy and security. Although sometimes there is nothing you could do when your email gets hacked or your company intranet gets exposed, keeping a frequent backup of your data in place is probably the best idea to implement.