As computer and internet usage rises, your data and technology profile continues to grow and define you, while privacy vulnerabilities continue to increase. From the information you share on the web to the data collected by all the companies with which you interact, there’s plenty of information available about you on the internet.
Since you’re leading more of your life on computers, smartphones and tablets, it’s critical to ensure that you’re taking the most basic steps to protect sensitive data.
First, take your data seriously by having multiple backup locations. In the unfortunate event that your computer crashes and you didn’t back up your files, that data is lost forever. As a safeguard, use an external hard-drive or cloud storage service to back up your most important information.
Second, just because you delete something doesn’t mean that it can’t be recovered. But there are file scrubbing applications that will permanently delete your recycled files. This is especially important if you’re removing sensitive personal information such as financial records that you may have accessed on a shared computer.
Third, be wary of the sites you visit, especially if you’re downloading third-party software. Some sites host legitimate third-party applications that they bundle with Trojans and other types of malware. Many anti-virus programs provide browser extensions which inform you about unsecure and dangerous websites. Use these tools as an internet roadmap so you’ll know which places to avoid.
This isn’t a comprehensive list by any means. But following at least a few of these steps is a good way to start protecting your data and regaining some control over your technology profile.