Data has its secrets. Anyone who stores information on a computer surely wants to keep a lot if his/her data away from the eyes of others. Tax returns, medical records, family member addresses, and bank account numbers could all be stored on a hard drive. While stored, they may not necessarily be safely stored. Sad to say, the security of the data may be far less safe than assumed. An antivirus program and a password protector do lend a certain amount of help. Still, the data on a computer may not really be all that secure. Taking additional steps to protect the information from hacks and intrusions must become a top priority.

What can you do to increase security, though? Good news exists for those who ask this question. Quite a lot can be done to enhance data, password, and financial information security on a computer immensely. The steps might even prove all that difficult to implement.

Employ Effective Deletion Strategies

Highlighting a file and choosing to delete it won’t be enough. The file moves to the recycle bin where it remains accessible until it has been completely eradicated. Emptying out the recycle bin won’t be enough, either. The files must be properly overwritten because deleted and recycled files aren’t eliminated. They are targeted for overwriting. Until the computer actual overwrites these “invisible files,” the possibility exists to find and access them. Taking immediate steps to overwrite the files speeds up the process.

Computer owners aren’t computer or program designers. So, they likely don’t know how to manually overwrite invisible files on their hard drives. They don’t have to. A special program can be purchased to perform the overwriting task. Like encryption tools, quality overwriting programs aren’t difficult to run and perform tasks efficiently.

Encrypt Everything

Speaking of encryption, encrypting programs should be maximized in terms of use. In short, encrypt everything. Encrypting a hard drive on a computer makes sense. Hackers want to enter that hard drive. Hackers can’t remotely access an external drive not connected to the computer. What happens if you leave an unencrypted portable drive on a table at a coffee shop? The owner would be at the mercy of the honesty and integrity of whoever finds it. Encryption programs can be used for more than just installed drives, websites, and emails. So, use the tools to their fullest capabilities.

Audit Your Data

A hard drive with 500GB of space can store a lot of data. Over time, a computer owner may allow the hard drive to become a museum of old personal files. The owner may never even know exactly what is on the drive. Lack of knowledge isn’t usually a good thing. Maybe some of those files really shouldn’t be on the drive anymore.

Take the necessary time required to go through old files and determine which ones shoul be deleted and overwritten. Don’t allow private, privileged, unused, and forgotten data to remain on a drive. The data serves no purpose other than remaining a security risk.

Never Ignore Your Smartphone

An enormous amount of effort frequently goes into protecting data on a laptop or other computer. Smartphone owners, sadly and mistakenly, take their costly device’s security for granted. This is perplexing considering all the critical data that could be appropriated from a smartphone.

At the very least, make sure the privacy settings on a smartphone present a bare minimum level of barriers to unauthorized access. Investing in remote programs that would allow owners to access a lost smartphone and delete files or restrict access would be worthwhile, too.

Put Forth the Effort

One reason data remains at risk is the necessary effort to secure things isn’t done. A price may be paid for not putting forth the necessary effort to shore up computer and smartphone security. Failure to do so may lead to regrettable consequences.

 

by: Mark Palmer