We have entered into an era in which even baby boomers interact with mobile devices and high-end technologies, not to mention millennials who were born with their genetic codes already programmed for these technologies. Even my niece, less than one year old, uses an iPad. We enjoy technology. Or at least, marketing departments make us believe it is a high-priority need, and convince us to rush and get the latest gadget.
Now, aside from the fact that we use these technologies, how do we protect our data (pictures, videos, sounds and other documents) that we load into the technological devices? Is there any program or application to protect all this information stored in these devices and technologies? Or do we use the best available security procedures to protect ourselves from misdoings to steal our information by means of direct robbery of an unprotected device or by malware?
We have received countless requests from individuals who suffered one or various situations that required immediate attention to avoid further damage to their data. Some want to recover lost or stolen information. Others need to erase from the Internet some pictures or videos stolen from the cell phones. On the soft side, others need to recover data accidentally erased after an incorrect installation of a software update. To avoid becoming a victim of situations like these, lets consider some useful recommendations. Simple as they may look, use them; they may help you save your job, or a significant personal relationship.
- Make it a habit to backup all of your devices contents on a weekly, monthly or yearly date, depending on its volume. Do it regularly, no excuses. If possible, make a second backup in another media and store them in different places.
- Install operating systems updates regularly in all your devices (cell phones, tablets, laptops, desktops Smart watches, even in your game platforms like Xbox, PS, Wii).
- Update regularly your applications and programs.
- Change your passwords frequently, preferably every 45 days of at three months intervals. Do not use your name or last names or those of your relatives. Do not use your auto plates numbers, birth dates, your pets names even worst, the word “password” or any of it variations. A good password is one that includes alphanumeric symbols, special characters, and combinations of upper and lower case letters. use at least eight characters or more. Consider this example: Th3h@b1Tp@rt#3*.
- Be careful with free programs or trial versions of new software. Do not install hacked programs or applications; you may be risking your data security. Be careful with your software sources.
- A classic one, do not leave your mobile device unattended. You may lose it to unauthorized persons.
- Regarding cell phones and tablets, if you are not using wireless characteristics as Bluetooth or NFC (Near Field Communication) turn off these modes. These are preferred by hackers to invade your device and steal its content.
Author: Gilberto Crespo, MSCE, CDIA+, CIP
Computer Engineer, Executive and Life Coach