Your computer’s data includes your pictures, videos, documents, and more. It’s critical to keep it safe in an increasingly connected world where there are many cyber threats. Here are a few steps that can help you protect your data:
1. Download Anti-Malware Software
Like most computers, your machine probably has default antivirus software courtesy of its operating system. While this software is most likely sufficient against basic threats like legacy PC viruses, it may not shield your data from more advanced malware. Only high-level antivirus software that uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to crush all kinds of malware can protect your data.
Naturally, you must be wondering what is a computer virus and how is it different from malware? A computer virus is a program designed to corrupt data. It piggybacks on other software and springs into action once activated.
But a computer virus is just one type of malware. Another type of malware that can destroy your information is a computer worm. Like a virus, a worm is destructive and spreads quickly. However, a worm doesn’t need human intervention to activate. Once a worm breaches your system’s defenses, it can self-replicate, even across other systems in your network.
Ransomware can also encrypt your data and demand money in exchange for a decryption key. But even after payment, destructive ransomware strains may still permanently ruin your data.
2. Enhance Network Security
Boost your network security to stop malware that can corrupt data. Always use a network firewall and consider using the best VPN(Virtual Private Network) service to encrypt your data on the Internet. Additionally, use the highest available WiFi security protocol, change the default Service Set Identifier (SSID), and set a strong password for your network.
It’s also a good idea to turn off file sharing unless you need it. At the very least, don’t leave your network open to the public. Only let trusted devices discover your media.
3. Backup Your Data
You should regularly backup your data to have duplicates in case of mishaps. You can use a USB stick to keep copies of your essential documents. For larger files, such as those created by your camera, try an external hard drive. You can also subscribe to a reliable cloud storage service to recover from a data failure.
4. Encrypt Your Data
Take advantage of encryption tools to encrypt your emails, files, and folders. You can also invest in an Encrypted Hard Drive. Such a storage drive converts your data into an unreadable format without the correct password or key.
5. Turn Off Your Computer
While leaving your computer on 24/7 can feel convenient, it can leave your Internet-connected machine open to malware attacks, especially when you’re not there. To be safe, shut down your computer when you’re not using it.
6. Automate Updates
Cybercriminals love to breach system defenses through weaknesses in operating systems and other essential programs. Automate your updates to download freshly released security patches.
These are six steps you can take to protect your data. Use the right cybersecurity tools, back up your information, and keep your software up to date to shield your files and folders.
Picture Credit: Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels