Computers are amazing things. However, despite the benefits of computers and the internet, using them involves some inherent risks. There are threats like hackers, malware, viruses, cybercriminals, and more that wish to do you harm. You could even have your most personal information stolen. Thankfully, there are strategies you can use to secure the documents and data you have stored on your personal computer.
One of the best and most fail-proof methods of protecting both computer documents and data is encryption. Encryption can be thought of as a way of scrambling data. It uses an encoding process that transforms data into a form that prevents it from being read as it previously was. If data remains encrypted, it is impossible to tell what that data originally contained. This can be reversed through the process of decryption, but only if you have the encryption key. Without that key, typically a password, unlocking that data again will be impossible. If you want to protect your data and documents, encryption is your best bet. Even if the data is stolen, it cannot be decrypted without the key. There are programs you can use to encrypt specific files or even entire drives. Overall, it’s the highest form of data security that exists.
Malware and viruses can corrupt and destroy files and data. In fact, you can even lose those files without any malicious actor intervening. If your home is hit by a lightning strike, the power surge could erase all the data stored on your PC’s hard drive. One local copy of an important file or document is never enough. You should expect that data to be lost at any point. One way to prevent data loss completely is to create offsite backups through a cloud host. Unlike traditional hosting, cloud computing involves the use of a shared server infrastructure that utilizes data redundancy and makes it virtually impossible to lose data forever on accident. Even if you lose your own files on your PC, your backups in the cloud will remain and can be quickly restored back to your computer. This is also the security choice of corporate America as 90 percent of companies implement online backup.
Legal Document Management System
Certain computer files are more important than others. Of all your files, the most important probably are legal documents concerning your family, finances, and obligations to the government. This can include things like a birth certificate, living will, marriage license, deed to a house, and more. In the past, all of these would only exist as paper documents and be stored somewhere in a file cabinet or safe deposit box. Today, it makes sense to keep digital copies of such important documents as well due to how intertwined modern life has become with the digital world. Keeping a digital version may also be a good idea in case the paper versions are somehow lost or destroyed since such documents are very hard to replace. Something you should use to help store, protect and manage these documents is a legal document management system. The best legal document management system should be cloud-powered and have an interface that will allow you to categorize and tag your documents so they can be easily found when needed even by a loved one if something were to happen to you.
Malware and Virus Scanner
Another piece of software you should take advantage of is a malware and virus scanner. If you really want to protect your data, you should be running one at all times on your computer. While running in the background, the software can scan incoming files from the internet for threats. Quite often, people only download things like malware or viruses on accident. They may be hidden within email attachments or file downloads where you cannot see them. If you can scan those files before they are allowed onto your hard drive, you can protect your computer from those threats. Make sure you have instant updating of the software switched on as well. New digital threats are introduced every day, and the software needs to be updated to know exactly what to look for.
Overall, you can’t be lax when it comes to protecting your important documents and data on your personal computer or any other device for that matter. Bad things can happen. Whether you accidentally download malware, get targeted by identity thieves, or simply experience a power surge after a thunderstorm, those files can be put at risk. Protect them through tools like encryption, cloud backup, a legal document management system, and a malware and virus scanner.