Although we like to think our computers are secure and protected against hackers, it’s more likely that your sensitive information is at risk of being stolen. To protect tax forms, legal documents, and other important files, you’ll need to take extra steps that improve your chances of keeping your data safe from prying eyes. Here are a few ways you can encrypt your files.
Secure Access to Work Files and Data
Whether you work from home or require a safe way to transfer data to and from a central location, a remote file server can help. As mobility increases, the need for security, collaboration, and access travels on the same upward path. A secure file server is a perfect alternative to a VPN, as they can both translate remote requests for files via authentication. If you’re looking for an on-premises alternative to DropBox, TrioFox servers are a valuable option.
Encrypt Your Data and Hard Drive
The purpose of file and disk encryption is to protect data stored on your network storage system or computer. Encryption software effortlessly scrambles the data into an unrecognizable language unless a password is given, so if your data is stolen, it’s still unreadable. You can either choose to encrypt individual files or whole disks. For personal computers, it’s better to encrypt individually unless you have a large volume of documents that you need to keep hidden.
Update Your Devices and Antivirus Software
Software updates do more than just annoy you. In fact, they provide many benefits to your operating system and computer in general. Antivirus software updates are integral in keeping your computer safe, as they fix security holes, remove bugs, and add or update features. When you update your device, you’ll patch security flaws, protect your data, and minimize the likelihood of contracting ransomware, which holds your data ransom unless you pay a small fee.
Enable Passwords and Create Strong Passcodes
Anything that can be password protected should be, regardless if you feel the data the person has access to is unimportant. A hacker that has access to your profile can learn more about you and figure out how to sneak into other websites through your family or friends. A good password will meet several requirements (over 12 characters, numbers, letters, etc.) and not be repeated more than once. If you have a bad memory, use a password manager for a quick recall.
Add Security Features to Your Cloud Storage Account
Losing access to your cloud storage account can be scary, even if your thief uploads a photo of themselves to your account by accident. With the option of providing incriminating evidence aside, you should still add security features to your storage account in case you forget your password, or you’re locked out. These include providing an alternate email address, storing your phone number, or creating a security question and answer pair: the more options, the better.
Use Two-Factor Verification
Two-factor verification offers you a multi-factor authentication option that makes it less likely you’ll be hacked. Along with the traditional password, two-factor verification allows you to answer a custom-selected question or receive a PIN from your phone every time you log in. This method will make it harder to access your account, so only use it for really sensitive data, or you could put your two-factor verification answers inside your password manager.
Store Files Off Your Computer
Some files are too sensitive and shouldn’t be left on the computer at all. At the same time, you probably don’t want to leave paper copies around in case someone finds it. Instead of storing this information on the cloud, transfer it into a hard drive that you can disconnect from the computer and hide elsewhere. Many professionals will backup their client data by moving it to a thumb drive and placing it inside a vault, but you don’t have to do the last bit!