Whether on a home computer or a business server, data security is an issue of vital importance in today’s digital world. Simply put, data security involves protecting the various forms of data that are stored on the hard drives found on laptops, desktops and on servers around the world. With the internet allowing unprecedented access to the computers of others, data security has become more important than ever before.
There are a few basic methods of keeping your data secure. The most basic and common is the use of encryption technology. In layman’s terms, encryption is like sending a letter in code. The data is scrambled into a form that is unreadable by anyone who does not have access to the key in order to decode it. There are various types of encryption technology. Disc encryption, a system that encrypts all of the data on a hard drive, can be performed either via disc encryption software or disc encryption hardware, both of which perform the task of making data on your computer unreadable to those without the proper access key to decode it.
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Disc encryption is a good, common form of protecting your data, but it still has potential flaws. Although the data is unreadable to others, it could still be accessed and damaged, rendering it useless to you. Protecting your data, whether encrypted or not, from being accessed in the first place is an important part of data security for both home users and businesses alike. The most basic way to make your data inaccessible to others is by strong user authentication procedures.
User authentication is a very simple concept. Every time you boot up your computer and enter a password, you are providing user authentication; the password tells the computer that you are an authorized user and should be allowed access to the files within. User authentication procedures are only as strong as the passwords and protocols used with them. The most common and preventable error in data security is use of a weak password. Your password should never use commonly accessible information that could be used to access your computer files. Don’t use birth dates, family member’s or pet’s names or other similar information. While it might make your password easy to remember, it will also make it easy for someone else to figure out. Instead, choose a password that is not a real word, uses a combination of numbers and letters and also a combination of upper case and lower case letters.
Beyond the Basics
Beyond the basics, there are a wide variety of advanced data security solutions that are hardware and software based and can protect your data from within the computer. Think of data security as a multi-step process. The first line of defense is to keep people out of your data in the first place. This means securing your data not just from people who could log in from your workstation, but from people who might access your data through the internet as well.
The second line of defense is having a good encryption program that will prevent anyone who does access your data from using it in a malicious manner, leaving them only the option of destroying the data or corrupting it. If this happens, you need to fall back on the third and final line of defense: back-ups.
Data Back Ups
Backing up your data is a vital part of protecting it. If all of your other security measures fail and your data is corrupted and rendered unreadable or unusable, all will not be lost as long as you have a back-up. Set up a good back-up system and use it regularly to ensure that the information you have on your back-up file is as recent as possible, allowing you to restore corrupted files to where they were prior to the invasion of your computer. If you fail to have a recent back up of your files, your best bet is to contact a local Data recovery Firm to have the files recovered, and hopefully repaired.