It’s official. My New Year’s resolution is to help as many people as possible secure and protect their critical personal and business information. We’ll focus on 3 simple steps anyone can take to protect themselves and their business.
#1 Use a Secure Password Manager Software
The first thing I recommend doing is using a dedicated password manager software (app) that encrypts and protects your personal or business passwords in a simple to use, quick to access application. Many people simply store their passwords in Word or Excel files on their computers. Some take additional steps to password protect these files. Unfortunately, these are not good methods to protect your passwords as individuals with just a basic level of IT expertise can hack these files as they provide very limited protection from intrusion. For your personal passwords, there are many free password encryption programs that can more effectively handle this. Simply search the IOS or Android App stores. Make sure to choose a program that encrypts your data and requires fingerprint identification or 2-factor authentication to securely access your information.
#2 Use Encryption Software when Sending Sensitive Information via Email.
Maybe you plan to take out a loan with your bank, or you plan to join a new club, or talk to your attorney and you just need to send the other party some personal information digitally. Whenever you plan to do this, remember the following: When using a regular email client like Gmail, hotmail, Yahoo, AOL, Outlook, and more, your information is not secure while it is being transferred (in transit) from your email client to the recipients. Your information is secure and encrypted while it is in your inbox, but it is not as soon as it leaves it. The quick and simple way to fix this is to integrate encryption software into your email client.
For limited personal use, I recommend a simple, secure, and free product that can integrate right into Gmail called Virtru. The best part is it’s simple to install (you don’t have to be an IT expert) and it’s even easier to use.
When dealing with more frequent sensitive communications or communications that require larger attachments for business, I recommend SecureMail. It’s an easy to use, inexpensive solution that will integrate into all the top email clients, while providing you the capacity, and the security you need.
#3 Securely Back-up Your Information to a Trusted Provider in the Cloud.
Most of us have learned the hard way over the last 10 years that external hard drives (or jump drives) will eventually fail. The good news is that new solutions are available to consumers and businesses that do a far better job of reliability and inexpensively keeping a secure back-up of our information.
On the personal size of things, if you just want to securely back-up files on your computer, there are many solutions. Simple to use personal back-up solutions include Google Drive Back-up & Sync or Carbonite back-up for personal computer. Google Drive offers a limited amount of back-up for FREE while Carbonite offers a home computer back-up for roughly $250 per year.
For small business back-up, I recommend DVM Safe. It’s going to provide you multiple back-ups of your business information and even will proactively monitor the health of your back-up hardware to ensure your information is safe and protected.
Implementing these three simple steps should make 2018 your safest and most secure yet!