Devising a data security strategy

Whether you are an individual who games, a work-at-home employee, a family of four that shops online, a road warrior or even a small business, chances are you have data to protect—and so this all pertains to you.

Fundamentals:

Antivirus isn’t enough: A free antivirus package is good, but it might not update automatically—and you need your antivirus to be today’s version. Spend a couple bucks and get your antiphishing, antispyware and firewall protection.

Updated browsers: An old, outdated browser is a nightmare that is often riddled with holes for criminals to slither a bug through. Install the latest update ASAP, automatically or both.

Updated operating systems: Set your OS to automatically update, as manual updates are often forgotten and missed.

Disk encryption: Your device may come equipped with the ability to encrypt individual files, folders or the entire disk. There are many free third-party encryption programs that are excellent.

Backing up: You should have at least two local backups of all your data in case a device fails. I use external drives and GoodSync to keep it all backed up every hour. Also, invest in cloud-based storage that has encryption as well—all for under $100 annually.

Password management: It’s not OK to have one password for 30 accounts. You need 30 different passwords, and this can only be accomplished with a password manager.

Wireless WiFi protection: Having open WiFi so your neighbor can piggyback on your connection is a bad idea. Use WPA2 encryptions that are built into the router. Whenever using public free WiFi, use a virtual private network software such as Hotspot Shield VPN to encrypt all your data.

Mobile device security: Mobiles are small computers that store our data or have access to our cloud-based accounts. Mobiles need to be password protected and have antivirus protection, just like PCs do. Keep in mind that WiFi on a mobile is no different than on a laptop, so use a VPN on your mobile too.

Robert Siciliano is an Identity Theft Expert to Hotspot Shield VPN. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen See him discussing internet and wireless security on Good Morning America. Disclosures. For Roberts FREE ebook text- SECURE Your@emailaddress -to 411247.

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