In the age of information technology, the question of how to protect the data on your computer is acute. Passwords and logins from social networks, systems for managing bank accounts, account information, private photos and other files can all be of interest to cybercriminals.
Hackers are not only targeting government institutions, banks or popular websites. The personal data of ordinary users can also be of interest to hackers. They can stole your personal social media accounts for fraudulent purposes, stolen images, videos are used for blackmail, and by obtaining the payment system data, the attackers can leave their owners without a penny on their account.
To avoid becoming a victim of hackers, pay attention to the security of personal data storage. This article is about how to protect personal information on your laptop.
The easiest way to protect data on your computer is to use strong passwords. Most users do know that security experts advise against using alphanumeric and numeric combinations (qwerty, 12345, 00000) as shields. But the appearance of “smart” cracking programs has made it possible to brute-force more difficult passwords. If a hacker knows a potential victim personally, an atypical but simple key (date of birth, address, pet’s name) can also be easily brute-force.
To protect accounts on social networks and other sources, as well as a user’s PC account, it is recommended to use complex combinations consisting of large and small Latin letters, numbers and service symbols. The password should preferably be easy to remember, but should not have obvious semantic content. For example, a key that looks like 21JanuarY1989 is recognized by websites as secure, but it contains your date of birth and can therefore be easily compromised.
Using Antivirus Software
To gain access to someone else’s PC, attackers use auxiliary software installed on the victim’s computer. Trojans intercept information typed via the keyboard, replace websites with copies created by phishers and send personal data. To protect personal data, it is advisable to install the latest version of antivirus software and keep it up-to-date. It is also recommended to limit access to storage devices by prohibiting reading information from them over the network.
To protect the personal information on your computer in case an intruder tries to gain access, it is advisable to use data encryption. Corporate and professional versions of Windows are equipped with Bitdefender. It encrypts information on one or more partitions on the hard drive. The files are accessible only with a special key.
If you need to secure individual files and folders, the easiest way to protect the personal data on your computer is to use encrypted archives. When you move your documents, photos or other data to an encrypted archive, a cybercriminal will not be able to open them even if you gain full access to your computer. To open the ZIP or RAR archive, you must enter an access code. This functionality is available in most popular archiving programs.
There is also a large amount of free software’s that are available in the internet to encrypt data. Such software’s includes Free Hide Folder, Folder Lock, True Crypt and others.
If you have not set network access restrictions in your computer’s security settings, an intruder may be able to access content via an unsecured Wi-Fi network. To prevent this, it is recommended that you set the WPA/WPA2 data encryption method on the router and set a strong password.
You can disable the broadcasting of the connection name (SSID) to avoid the risk of hacking the Wi-Fi network. In this case, only users who know the network name can connect to the router.
Using the secure data transfer protocol HTTPS eliminates the risk of interception of information sent to the server in encrypted form. This standard is not a separate technology, but a complement to the standard HTTP. When it is used, data is encrypted using the SSL protocol.
Unfortunately, to support this data protection method, it is necessary that the server is equipped with the support of this technology. You cannot use it unilaterally.
If the server supports HTTPS, the system assigns a unique certificate to the client when it connects to it, and all data is encrypted with a key of 40, 56, 128 or 256 bits. Decryption therefore takes place only on end devices, and intercepting someone else’s signal does not provide an intruder with anything.
If the service involves working with confidential information or conducting financial transactions – it is advisable to watch out for sources that do not support HTTPS.
These are few ways to protect your information on laptops or computers. Apart from these there are more ways where a hacker can get access to your laptop/computer and try to steal your data. So while using laptops one should be aware while accessing to suspicious files or updates.