Dara Security

Small Steps to Secure Your Information

December 04, 2014

Still unsure how to secure your information? It may not seem like there is much you can do to counteract hackers. The image that comes to mind is one of mysterious, computer-savvy supervillains preying on helpless victims whose futile efforts are the equivalent of plastering the Hoover Dam with Scotch tape to prevent leaks. But this is simply not true. There are a multitude of simple things you can do to secure yourself and secure your information.

Tips To Secure Your Information

Use a secure internet connection. Free Wi-Fi at your local coffee shop may be convenient, but it's surprisingly easy for people to access your personal data, including passwords, pictures, and texts. The best chance you have to secure your information on these unsafe connections is to browse as if someone else is watching everything you're doing, and try not to enter any of your passwords.

Understand how free cloud services protect your sensitive information. Since these services are free, these providers have no obligation to keep your information secure. You don't want to trust a potentially shady organization with important data. When selecting a cloud service to store information, you should take into account a lot of different factors. One of many this website lists is whether the cloud service company takes a stand for users' privacy in court. Bigger names are more likely to make an effort to maintain their good reputation and thus be more reliable, but that doesn't mean that an impressive name is more secure.

Beyond A Secure Connection And Secure Browsing

Encrypt shared files. Files can be intercepted, so it's a good precaution to add a password or encryption key to your file to add an extra level of security. Microsoft Word allows you to password-protect your file. This will make sure that if someone gains access to your file, they won't be able to use it.

Encrypt USB drives. Flash drives are fairly easy to lose as well. If you keep important information on your flash drive, anyone can pick it up and access this information. A solution to this is buying an encrypted USB drive, which will protect the files on it. Alternatively, you can encrypt your existing drive.

How Your Passwords Secure Your Information

Use good passwords. There are already dozens of articles on how to make a good password, but it's still a critical (and simple) way to protect yourself. Instead of just using a single word, use a passphrase; it will be longer and thus harder to crack. Incorporate capital letters, numbers, and special characters.

Make simple substitutions and don't include full words that can be found in a dictionary. For example, instead of "cakeisdelicious", you might want to go with "c4K3 i$ deLici0uz". Alternatively, you can use a passphrase generator. Though most people can't outhack a hacker, you don't have to. Just do simple things to make yourself less vulnerable to attacks. Most hackers won't persist with one specific account when there are so many other potentially easier targets out there. Doing the little things is better than doing nothing at all.