Should you Encrypt your Data?

computerShould you Encrypt your Data?

Some people are a little intimidated by the idea of data encryption. You need to decide if you even have data that should be encrypted before you worry about actually encrypting it. Here are some guidelines to help you decide if you should encrypt the data on your personal computer or mobile device.

What Should be Protected?

You should protect any of your personal data that could be used to damage you or someone else in the wrong hands. This includes deeply personal information such as your social security number, credit card number, and your health information. If you aren’t sure if this information is on your device then there are pieces of software you can use to find any information that should be encrypted.

You don’t need to encrypt everything on the computer. You might not need to go as far as encrypting your personal photos. And you should encrypt your tax documents and business documents though. This can help protect you from identify theft. It can even protect your employer from a serious data breach that could happen as a result of sensitive information reaching the wrong hands.

Look at the data on your computer or that you’ll be emailing someone and ask yourself. If you believe it needs to be encrypted to protect yourself or someone else.

Why You Need to Encrypt The Information on Your Personal Computer

You might find yourself thinking there’s no need to worry about someone else being able to see the data on your computer. But what if you lose your computer? If that happens you’ll want to know your data is encrypted and no one else can see it.

The same applies to sending information through an email such as your tax documents. These contain a lot of important sensitive information including your social security number.

If you’ve got sensitive business information on your computer then you should encrypt it to keep your employer safe in the event your computer is lost or stolen.

How to Encrypt Data

After deciding that you have data that should be encrypted the next step is to dataactually encrypt it. Some people find the idea of encrypting data daunting. If you’re not that tech savvy and are nervous about encryption then get a digital locker. This is essentially a separate drive within your computer that is used to securely contain sensitive information. There are a few things you should do to make this even more effective.

  1. Protect it with a secure password. The only thing stopping someone else getting into the digital locker file is the password, so make sure it’s a complex and long password. It shouldn’t be something another person could guess and you should change it every so often.
  2. Remember that anyone with a password can read the information. As such you might want to create different lockers for different sets of data that you can then share with the people who need that data.
  3. You should back up the data in the lockers because they can still end up getting damaged or lost.
  4. Ensure that your computer is running up-to-the-date protection software and that you frequently update it

Summary

If you want to encrypt data properly then just focus on encrypting the right data. There’s no need to encrypt absolutely everything; just the data that could cause some damage if the wrong person finds it. Keeping up with the information and documents you’ve got on your computer and how they are stored will help you a great deal when it comes to keeping yourself and others safe from attack.


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