Securing Your Data
The first step to securing your information is to password-protect your different accounts.
Follow these tips when selecting a password:
- Set a different password for every account
- Make each password difficult to guess and unique to you
- Choose at least eight characters combining uppercase and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols.
- Write down your passwords and store them in a safe place away from your computer
- Don't share your passwords with others
- Change your passwords several times a year
Many account providers offer additional ways to verity your identity such as code phrases or user-specific questions. Ask your financial institution and online service providers if they offer multi-factor authentication or other supplementary security measures.
Backing Up Your Files
You should also protect yourself against data loss by making electronic copies of important files. Follow these steps to back up your electronic data:
- Keep paper copies of all important documents. File them in a safe place that would likely survive a natural disaster.
- Use your backup software. Often computers come with this software or they are easily available by purchase. Run the program at least once per week.
- Select a reliable device to store your data. Physical hardware includes CDs, DVDs, and USBs for smaller files. External hard drives are best for larger files and as a library for video, photos, and music.
- Safely store your backup device. Keep is somewhere away from the computer and hazards.