How To Keep Your Data Safe From Online And Offline Threats

How To Keep Your Data Safe From Online And Offline Threats

Considering the recent cases of cyberattacks against corporations, it seems that data security is more elusive than ever before. It is hard to have 100% security against any kind of cyber attack.  Even if you have the most sophisticated firewalls and an army of IT experts, hackers are continuously creating new ways to get around them.

The best way to protect yourself from these dangers is to practice safe online habits and to take additional precautions offline. Here are some tips on how you can keep your data safe from both online and offline threats.

Backup Your Data

It is important to backup your data on a regular basis. Without this step, you may not be able to recover your lost files in case of an attack or system crash. There are a lot of ways to back up your files. You can plug an external drive into your computer and copy the files over, directly from the user interface, or you can use backup software, like Acronis True Image, that automates the process.

Protect Your Network

When you allow people to connect to your network, whether via a wired connection or through wireless access, you are at risk of being hacked. One simple way to protect your network is by using WPA2 encryption on all of your devices. You can configure the encryption on your Wireless Access Point and all devices connected to it will be encrypted.

Use Antivirus Software

There are many choices in the market when it comes to antivirus software. You can choose from home user or small business versions, according to your needs. They come in so many packages and with Norton 360 antivirus, you even get a full VPN that can keep your data safe from prying eyes.  Although they cannot prevent you from getting hacked altogether, antivirus software can detect and remove viruses, malware, and other malicious programs. It is one of the most effective ways to protect yourself from attacks.

Disable AutoPlay On Your Devices

AutoPlay is a feature in the Windows operating system that automatically opens whatever is connected to USB, wireless or Bluetooth devices.  This means that every time you connect an external device to your PC, a pop-up will automatically appear asking what you want to do. You may be curious as to why this is a security risk.

Hackers know how easily users can be tempted into clicking “Yes” when they see something like this and use it for attacks. In order to avoid this, go to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > AutoPlay and uncheck both “Yes, these files can be used with…” and “Always do this for …” options. It can pose a serious risk to your security if hackers find ways to exploit it.

Avoid Using Public Wi-Fi Networks

Public Wi-Fi networks are notoriously insecure because it is easy for hackers to set up bogus hotspots that look like real, secure ones. If you are using public Wi-Fi, it is possible for hackers to get your login information, bank details and even intercept email messages containing sensitive data.

Use Stronger Password

Conventional wisdom says that you should create different passwords for each account and your password should be difficult to guess. Hackers will try to crack your password by using brute force methods, so it has to be extremely complex in order for them not to be able to get in. It is best if you use a combination of random letters, numbers, and special characters. It is also a good idea to change your passwords often.

Keep Your Operating System Up To Date

Most computers come with default software that ends up getting security updates and new functionality added on a regular basis. If you don’t update your Windows or Mac OS, you leave yourself open to security vulnerabilities that could be exploited by hackers. It is a good idea to set up automatic update notifications and download the updates as quickly as you can before hackers find ways to exploit them and use them against you.

Use A Firewall

A firewall is one of the most important pieces in any security setup. It can stop malware from entering your system by blocking certain ports that the malware uses to communicate with its “command and control” server. For most home users, it is enough to simply choose a firewall that is easy to use and configure.

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Hire IT Professionals

If you don’t have the necessary skills or time to set up your security system, it is best to hire IT professionals for this purpose. IT experts can configure Windows and other operating systems to make them more secure, install anti-malware programs and properly configure the firewall. They will make sure everything is configured correctly and patched regularly.

It’s important for business owners to understand the many different ways hackers can get access to their data. This blog post highlights some of the most effective methods for protecting your computer and company from online threats.

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