A little bit of discretion, common sense, and some preventive forethought can save your data and desktop from becoming another victim of cyber crime. Having your data stolen is bad news. What’s worse is that you lose valuable personal information, such as credit card information, email records, and personal documents, to an unseen enemy. To safeguard your data, there are physical security methods as well as data securing techniques that can drastically reduce the chance of your data falling into the wrong hands even if your laptop is stolen or misplaced.

Here are a few ways you can prevent yourself from becoming a victim of cyber crime:

Use a login password.

It is always good practice to keep a login password for your machine, since this helps to prevent anyone else from intruding into your laptop when it is left unattended. Choose a strong password that is not easily guessed. You should ideally use a combination of alphabets and numbers. Change your password regularly.

Limit personal data storage on your desktop.

We are in the habit of having instantaneous access to our data and therefore tend to store large volumes of data on our computers, including sensitive personal information. It is safer to limit the personal data you store on your machine and store only data that you require frequently.

Encrypt and password-protect your documents.

Always keep important documents and files protected with passwords. This not only prevents others from opening the file, it also helps in situations where the document might have been sent to someone else by mistake.

Clear your web browser’s cache.

Always keep your web browser’s cache empty and do not let the web browser store any of your login information (that is, your usernames or passwords). If you prefer to have the web browser remember your username and password, chances are that anybody else who accesses your laptop can log into your account without your knowledge or consent.

Visit only safe websites.

Visit only safe websites.Make sure that the websites you visit are safe. Look for the VeriSign logo or similar Certificate Authority logo on those sites.

Don’t execute programmes you don’t know.

Do not download programmes, applications, or files from websites you know little about or are suspicious of. Avoid downloading files you cannot ascertain are safe. This includes freeware, screensavers, games, or any other executable programme.

What happens if someone was able to maliciously access your computer? What will a data thief look for? We’ll find out next week, here on QNet Blog.