Career Advice - A Community Blog

Erik Larson writes about the job market, resume improvement, and career advice

Six Steps to Keeping Your Data Safe

Written by Erik Larson, Community Blogger | Jul 19, 2017 5:43 PM

In our modern age, everyone seems to be virtually connected. Whether it's checking transit directions on the train or browsing the web at work, every person uses technology at some point or another on a daily basis. However, with all the time we spend online, do we ever bother to check if we are actually safe?

Believe it or not, millions of dollars every year are spent on anti-virus protection, but hackers are still able to break through the toughest security systems. To help keep yourself safe online, here are our top recommended tips for the average consumer.

1. Download Anti-Virus Protection

When you get a new computer you always want to make sure you download anti-virus protection on it straight away. However, at the same time, you should make sure you have the most up-to-date anti-virus software on your devices at all times. Although this may not protect you from hacker traps, they can keep your information safer online.

2. Use a Trusted Password

One of the easiest rules to follow in internet safety is to always use complicated and secure passwords to foil hackers. Make sure that you use a variety of numbers, letters, and different characters to prevent hackers from getting access to your information. Plus, you should work on routinely updating your password, especially if you suspect an attack on your online data.

3. Constantly Install New Updates

It may be an annoyance to immediately download the newest update to your computer and stop what you're doing, but it will help keep your data safer online. Plus, keeping your computer up-to-date will prevent any harm from software or web-based hacking attempts.

4. Only Use Secure Public Wi-Fi

You may be used to using unsecured public wi-fi, but it can pose a risk to your online information. Hackers can use public wi-fi to their advantage and cause you to send your data directly to them. Instead of using public wi-fi, bring your own wi-fi hotspot or use mobile connections whenever possible.

5. Back Everything Up

This is one of the absolute best ways to keep your information safe. Back up copies of absolutely everything. This way, if something does happen to your information or your laptop, you will have a copy of everything. You can manually back up everything or set your computer so it does so automatically.

You could also use an external hard drive to hold your duplicate data. These devices often come with software that only allows authorized viewers to see your data, which adds yet another level of security.

6. Pay Attention When on The Web Outside

There is a good chance that you have used your computer in a coffee shop or browsed the web on your smartphone while riding the train to work. In situations like these, it is important to be aware of what it going on around you. This is doubly true when you are looking at confidential information. When you are outside, don't look at anything that you wouldn't want other people to see. This may include personal emails, banking information, or private work documents. You should also refrain from leaving any paperwork out, too.

If you frequently do work on your laptop in public spaces like libraries or cafes, you may want to consider getting a privacy screen. These can be very beneficial as they only allow people to view your screen if they are looking at it straight on. The screen fits right over your current screen and keeps away any snooping eyes. This way, you do not need to worry about people viewing your information over your shoulder.

Nowadays, there are so many threats out there to your digital data. This is why it is so incredibly important to protect yourself when on your computer or other devices. However, by becoming informed about the issues and threats in the digital world, you can keep your data safe and maintain your digital privacy.

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