Most of us will have at least some type of critical information stored on our computers. This could include things like important documents or data related to our business. If we were to lose this type of critical information, it could cause real problems for us. The biggest mistake we can make is to just assume this data will always be there for us when we turn on the computer. We need to be proactive if we want to safeguard this information, and this would include at least some of the following steps:
You Need to Have a Backup of Your Data
If you only have one copy of your data, it is probably only a matter of time before disaster will strike. Hard drives are not designed to last forever and problems can occur with even the highest quality storage devices. There is also the risk that your computer could be stolen or damaged. The only way to protect this data is to have a copy. This could be something as simple as an external hard drive where you regularly backup important information. If you do choose an external hard drive, it is a good idea to store this in a separate location to your computer.
Store Your Data in the Cloud
Probably the best way to keep critical information safe is to store it in the cloud. This will mean that no matter what happens to your computer, the information will be always kept safe. This solution for document storage can do away with the need for backing up your data. It also does away with the need to carry your laptop around with you wherever you go because you will be able to access your data from any computer.
Use Passwords to Protect Your Data
One of the other dangers with critical information is that it could fall into the wrong hands. This could easily happen if your computer is a soft target where anyone who gains access to the machine can view any data they like. One way to keep people from physically stealing information from your computer is to use strong passwords. You can make it so that anyone using the computer needs to login after boot-up, and you can also password-protect individual documents.
Use High Quality Anti-Virus Software on Your Machine
Malicious software (malware) is not only able to destroy data on your machine, but it can also be used to steal this information. The criminals who create malware are getting more sophisticated all the time, and this is why it is vital that your computer has adequate protection. Free anti-virus software can work well for people who only use the internet occasionally, but if you do business online, you are probably going to need a premium product like a security suite. A quality product will not only protect you against viruses but also spyware threats such as key-loggers. When choosing anti-virus software, you want something that is going to be updated regularly so that you are always one step ahead of the bad guys.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Heath Brandon