With so much information being transferred digitally, your data is stored on servers that can be hacked and computers that can crash. The risk is higher when you use networks of uncertain security while on the move.
Whether you are tweeting updates from a global summit, downloading video presentations, or using file-sharing sites, your data is susceptible to theft, viruses and Trojans. Servers that store the data accessed by employees of large corporations are also likely to be targeted by hackers and crackers – the latter are more harmful as they can damage your system, steal or delete your data and probably damage your servers with malicious uploads. Intermittent power cuts, accidental downloads of viruses and improper handling can also cause systems to crash and you to lose important data.
Here’s what you need to do eliminate the risk of loss of information and breach of security.
Categorise your data and enable access. It’s unlikely that everybody needs to access everything. So, select who gets to access what and disable access accordingly.
Give it an expiry date. Determine the parts of data that will not be required live and accordingly, ‘archive’ it. In other words, move it to an alternate location that can be disconnected from network access until required.
Embed the right security. Several companies secure their computers with anti-virus software and tools, but neglect the need to secure their files. Security mechanisms can be embedded to ensure safety of sensitive data. Tools from Symantec or Quick Heal are trusted and easy to acquire.
Back it up. Important documents, reports, pictures and videos should be regularly backed up on USB drives with large capacities. You can also back up data on external hard drives.
Good external hard drives are easy to get. Seagate, Plextor, Samsung and Iomega come highly recommended. Invest in a good Surge Protector or Suppressor to protect machines that store your data from voltage surges. APC and Ace provide some durable Surge Protectors. Sony, Kingston and SanDisk USB drives are fast, easy to use and compact.
Choose a good password. Adding the numbers 1234 to your name does not make it the most difficult password. Choose a password that is unique and something that only you would know and remember.
Password protect your albums. Smartphones these days come with cameras that can give digital cameras a run for their money. We click pictures, save screenshots and shoot videos easily. However, download an app or software on your phone that can password protect your personal data. Some phones do not permit that, so you can always download a storage app with a password protect feature.
If you realise that you’ve lost data, do not panic. Companies like Drive Savers Data Recovery and Digital Safe not only provide good storage, but also inexpensive data recovery solutions.