Privacy is a big talking point at the moment – more so when it comes to our computers. But what does it take to keep your system safe? With the many online and offline threats, keeping your computer and documents bullet proof can be an uphill task. So what steps do you need to take in order to secure your system, and keep your documents safe from unauthorized access.
What Level of Security Do You Need?
Before you think of securing your system, it is crucial to have a goal in mind, according to cyber security experts, Computer Forensics Lab. What do you want to secure, and from which threats? Once you have the answer to these, securing your system becomes an easy task.
If you want full protection, it is vital to consider encrypting your boot device. If you have an unsecured boot device, your system can suffer attacks ranging from the extraction of passwords from browsers, to hibernation and page file analysis. The best way to keep your boot device secure is to have it encrypted using BitLocker.
If you have important files/data stored in external drives, you can also benefit from full-disc encryption. In this case, you can use BitLocker To Go to encrypt USB drives, SD cards, External Hard Disk, and other supported file systems. This guards against any unauthorized attempts at access.
File System Encryption
Unlike full-disc encryption, File System Encryption (EFS) allows you to secure individual files/folders in your system. This security measure is ideal if you share your computer with other users. For instance, if it is a home computer, you may have several people accessing your PC, and therefore if you need to restrict access to specific files, EFS is the way to go. Anyone who logs on to your PC will use the PC normally, for instance, to browse or play games, but it will leave encrypted files untouched.
Document encryption is a great way to keep individual documents safe from unauthorized access. It works the same way as EFS, but in this case, you’re securing a particular document, and it offers an added layer of security.
Document encryption is only effective if you are smart not to use the same password for your web accounts or PC log on credentials. Make it hard to guess in case intruders want to access your documents. Even if someone hacks into your PC, they won’t view the document without the encryption key (password).
Protect Backups and Archives
There are many causes of data loss, and that is why you should consider backing up and archiving critical data. But while backup and archiving data is common, protecting backed up data is not common. Encrypting your backup or archive tools will keep your data secure, and when you need access, you only need a password.
Most people have cloud storage devices, for instance, OneDrive. It is a safe space where you can store all your files and access them as and when you need them. Just as you secure your PC with a password and have EFS, you also need to encrypt important folders/files in your cloud storage space. OneDrive, for instance, offers OneDrive Personal Vault for added security of your critical files. You should take advantage of this to keep your files secure.
You can minimize all system threats through encryption, for instance, when it comes to Ransomware. This malware threatens to publish stolen data or block access to files by encrypting them with a password known only by the attacker. This is a serious threat, but worry not because you can use software to protect your data. For instance, OneDrive offers Ransomware protection.
If you can implement all the above security measures, you will increase your system security and probably have no security breaches at all. In addition, you should have antivirus software installed to block viruses and malware. Most importantly, keep in mind computer security starts with a strong PC log on password. Know your threats and implement the right security measures today.