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It seems that not a week goes by without news of a major data breach. In January 2020, Microsoft admitted that as many as 1.2 million accounts had been compromised.
If you have sensitive personal information stored on your computer then the last thing you want is for it to fall into the wrong hands.
The good news is that there are steps you can take to help keep your data safe.
Read on as we take a look at five useful tech solutions.
1. Secure Backup
Backing up files is something we should all be doing. It can protect you if you have a hard drive failure, as well as minimizing the damage if you’re the victim of ransomware or other malware.
There are two options; backing up to an external hard drive, or using a cloud backup solution. We’ll talk more about hard drives in a moment, but if you’re going to use cloud backup, then we recommend looking for an option that features zero-knowledge encryption.
This type of encryption means that your provider doesn’t store your decryption key, so they can’t read any of your data. Even if they are hacked, the hackers can only access encrypted files, which are useless without the decryption key.
2. Encrypt Your Hard Drive
Another powerful way to keep your data safe is by encrypting your entire hard drive.
This is very simple to do; Windows comes with Bitlocker and macOS has FileVault both of which allow you to encrypt your hard drive without the need for any additional software. Once you’ve encrypted your hard drive, you’ll need to enter a password in order to access your files. You can also encrypt removable drives such as USB sticks in the same way.
If you’re using an external hard drive for backup, be sure to encrypt that too.
3. Permanently Delete Sensitive Personal Information
If you no longer need certain sensitive personal information, you should delete it.
Unfortunately, just using the trash can on your computer isn’t going to cut it. It’s still possible to recover files that have been deleted in this way. You’ll need to use software or hardware such as Shredcube.com to ensure that files are completely destroyed.
4. Use Secure Passwords
Your files are only as safe as your password.
Hackers use techniques such as brute force attacks which can try billions of combinations of letters, numbers, and special characters until they find the right one. That’s why you should use as long a password as possible, with a random combination off all three types of characters to protect against dictionary attacks.
Use a password manager and you can generate strong passwords without worrying about having to remember them.
5. Use Two-Factor Authentication
This is a simple but effective measure that adds an extra layer of security.
Instead of just needing your password to sign in, you also have to enter a code that is sent to your phone or generated by an app. Unless hackers have access to your phone, they won’t be able to access your files even if they have your password.
Looking for More Useful Tech Tips?
Keeping your sensitive personal information safe is increasingly important as hacking becomes ever more sophisticated. Following these tips can help to ensure that your data remains private.
Are you looking for more useful tech tips? If so make sure you check out the rest of our tech section. We also have plenty more great content on everything from business and travel to health and beauty.
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