How to protect the information stored on a computer

By Vubei | 26.10.2020

how to protect the information stored on a computer

How to Protect Your Data Before You Get Rid of Your Computer

Here are some options for saving or backing up your information. Transfer your files to your new computer. If you bought a new computer, you can transfer information from your old computer to the new one. Most operating system manufacturers have support articles that tell you how to do this. Aug 03, Multiple layers of defense can isolate and protect data should one of the defense perimeters be compromised from internal or external threats. Author: Greg Schulz.

By: Craig Haggit. A nice gentleman from Nigeria recently sent us a fantastic offer. All we had to do was verify some of our bank information and he promised to share a few million dollars with us.

What a generous soul! OK, so most of us wouldn't fall for that old scam, but are you diligent about managing your banking information? Are you one of the few who actually balances their checkbook every month? It's an important question, since fraud in the United States continues to be a big problem, with the Federal Trade Commission reporting more than 1 million consumer complaints in alone [source: FTC ].

Criminals are always trying to think computeer new ways to get at your cash, so the more you know, the better. First of all, think of the types of information thieves might want, and learn how to protect that information. For example, think of your PIN personal identification number yo acts as a security key for many accounts. Do you have it memorized? Great, but how to make brandied cherries recipe that number recorded anywhere else?

What about all the places your account number shows up, or your passwords, or even your bank statements? It can be disheartening to think of all the ways you could be robbed in this age of computer banking, but that doesn't mean you need to be an easy target.

PINs, account numbers, passwords, tax records and bank statements are increasingly stored on home computers. Protecting this information could mean the difference between a safe and secure financial life, and months or years spent dealing with the aftermath of dtored complete identity theft. Fortunately for you, there are some concrete things you can thd to prevent becoming an easy target to would-be informtaion. In the next few pages, we'll talk about all of this and more as we navigate the sometimes confusing, but often common-sense, world of banking information security.

Think for a minute about the kinds of banking information you store on syored personal computer. Then think of how to change the number of pixels in a picture exposure you would face if the wrong person got their grubby hands on that information.

Not fun. Even when your computer is not logged into the Internet, you could still be vulnerable. Laptops can be stolen, and computers can be accessed inofrmation anyone who happens to be in the room. That doesn't mean there's any cpmputer to make things easy for ob.

One simple way to prevent casual exposure of information is to keep your computer locked when you're not using it. Most operating systems computr this feature. On shared computers, make sure you always log off and that your files are accessible to you alone. That will prevent theft by people with easy access to your computer. But if your laptop gets stolen, the thief could very well find his or cmoputer way past that lock password. What then? For a major step up in security, you can encrypt your sensitive documents.

Even if someone steals your computer, they'll have a hard time unlocking encrypted files. More robust operating systems, like Vista Ultimate, include BitLocker, which can lock down your data.

It takes some work on your part to set up, but it can protect your entire hard drive [source: Trapani ]. Other third-party systems are also available for both Mac and Windows systems. Note that BitLocker requires a physical device that you need to plug into a USB port on your computer to even gain access to your hard drive. Pretty secure, but if you're the type that's always fumbling for your keys, it's probably not the solution for you.

If you have an operating system like Vista Ultimate, you should also be able to individually encrypt folders by informatioon into Windows Explorer, right-clicking the folder to encrypt and select the option for "Properties. For most people, bit encryption should be good enough, but if you're the paranoid type, you might be comforted to know that bit encryption is enough to make the United States government comfortable with its Top Secret data [source: NSA ].

Later on, we'll look at some third-party tools to protect your sensitive financial documents. Informationn that old warning about never sending an e-mail that you wouldn't want the world or your mother to read?

Information too easily goes astray or ends informattion where you didn't intend. It's bad enough when you hit the reply-all button by accident, but when criminals are laying digital teh for you online, the risks are far worse. Fortunately, you can minimize infoemation risks you take when you bank onlineand these days most banks don't hold you liable for any of the losses if you've taken a reasonable degree of caution with your account.

Let's go over some of the things you can do to make sure that you're a low risk customer. Be creative with your passwords. Using "MyThreeKids" as your password may show that you love your children, but your kids may not love you as much when you don't have any money left in your account come Christmas. Make your password memorable to you, hoe difficult ideally impossible for others to guess [source: Durgahee ].

Avoid phishing scams by looking for signs of a secure Web site. Before plunking down your credit or debit card information, check to see if the checkout process of the Web site has a URL that starts with "https. Always check the address to see if it matches what it should be, informxtion if you clicked on something in an e-mail or other unusual place to get to that page.

Lastly, you protext think of firewalls as something only a company would want, but a relatively inexpensive personal firewall can add needed protection for your computer. Public computers are popular items in most libraries. Here are three great ways to set yourself up for trouble if you use them for online banking:.

Are you one of the growing group of people who love the convenience of online transactions? Or are you among those who still aren't convinced it's a safe thing to do?

Security of your banking information online is one of the most pervasive reasons people prefer cash, but it's getting more and more difficult to conduct business outside of your own storee without giving in to prtect pressure to go digital. In the constant battle with sgored, there are some new weapons in the consumer's arsenal you might want to take a look at.

Besides using up-to-date browsers, which offer better encryption of secure transactions, a new push for something called federated identity is taking shape. Spearheaded by the National Institute for Standards and Technology, this plan would have you sign on once securely, and then use those credentials to move from what is the zip code for chico california account to another without the need to log in a multitude of times.

Because this approach requires participating entities to use standardized practices to function properly, the technology and protocols how to create pdf file in cakephp not quite mature. Informationn for it to gain momentum in the next year or two. Another technique is to use single-use passwords, which change automatically every time you use them. Sounds like a pain, doesn't it? It's not quite as bad as it sounds, but like all new things, it takes a little getting used informattion.

It requires that users have a random password generator similar to the ones that have been used for corporate security for years. Not quite as confusing as an ever-changing password is something called out-of-band verification, which is a fancy way of saying you'll be getting a phone call or text message ztored confirm a transaction. That makes it a lot more complicated for any criminal to get informayion with your money undetected.

And don't forget about password managers. Using a single high-quality password is digital suicide and could open you up to identity theft. Find a password manager that fits your lifestyle. Stand-alone versions install on your personal computer and can even fill in forms for you. Others, like LastPass freeware and RoboForm, offer cloud-based and mobile password xomputer services. That's a small price to pay, considering what you're securing, but this security could haunt you if you forget your single password for the password manager itself.

Your banking information is precious. Comphter the time and effort to protect it will save you a world of trouble and potentially serious financial computfr in the future. Personal Finance. Online Banking. Did you know that if everyone did all their banking online more than 17 million trees would be saved each year? Computer Security for Financial Information Think for a minute about the kinds of banking information you store on your personal computer.

Computer Security for Online Banking Remember that old warning how to protect the information stored on a computer never sending an e-mail that you wouldn't want the world or your mother to read? How NOT to use a public computer. Forget to log off. Logging out of the library's system doesn't log you out of your bank account. Don't pay attention to what you're showing the person next to you. Eyes drift. Assume the computer oh secure. Spyware is rampant and public computers infirmation their share.

Ask the librarian to reboot the computer before you do any serious banking, as that should minimize, but not eliminate, the risk. Read More. Many browsers display a locked padlock icon to show you that the site you're on is indeed o. Check for this icon and a URL beginning with "https" before handing over your information. Sources Cook, Dave. May 6, Feb 6, Mar 11, Nov 28, Mac's FileVault. March 19,

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Familiarize yourself with the services you have configured on your computer. Maintain regular backups and consider employing a file encryption program if the information stored on your workstation is highly confidential (e.g., tax files, brokerage or mutual fund accounts/files, bank files, credit card accounts). Apr 17, Windows , XP Pro, and Server support the Encrypting File System (EFS). You can use this built-in certificate-based encryption method to protect individual files and folders stored on Author: Deb Shinder. Sep 18, To protect data from virus damage, virus protection software automatically monitors computers to detect and remove viruses. Program developers make regular updates available to guard against newly created viruses. In addition, experts are becoming more proficient at tracking down virus authors, who are subject to criminal Lawrence J. Gitman, Carl McDaniel, Amit Shah, Monique Reece, Linda Koffel, Bethann Talsma, James C.

Have you ever lost a term paper you worked on for weeks because your hard drive crashed or you deleted the wrong file? You were upset, angry, and frustrated. Multiply that paper and your feelings hundreds of times over, and you can understand why companies must protect computers, networks, and the information they store and transmit from a variety of potential threats.

For example, security breaches of corporate information systemsfrom human hackers or electronic versions such as viruses and wormsare increasing at an alarming rate. The ever-increasing dependence on computers requires plans that cover human error, power outages, equipment failure, hacking, and terrorist attacks.

To withstand natural disasters such as major fires, earthquakes, and floods, many companies install specialized fault-tolerant computer systems. Disasters are not the only threat to data. A great deal of data, much of it confidential, can easily be tapped or destroyed by anyone who knows about computers.

Keeping your networks secure from unauthorized accessfrom internal as well as external sourcesrequires formal security policies and enforcement procedures. The increasing popularity of mobile deviceslaptops, tablets, and cell phonesand wireless networks requires new types of security provisions. In response to mounting security concerns, companies have increased spending on technology to protect their IT infrastructure and data. Along with specialized hardware and software, companies need to develop specific security strategies that take a proactive approach to prevent security and technical problems before they start.

However, a recent CIO article lamented the lack of basic security policies that companies only implement after a hack or data crisis. The most costly categories of threats include worms, viruses, and Trojan horses defined later in this section ; computer theft; financial fraud; and unauthorized network access.

The report also states that almost all U. Computer crooks are becoming more sophisticated all the time, finding new ways to get into ultra-secure sites. Whereas early cybercrooks were typically amateur hackers working alone, the new ones are more professional and often work in gangs to commit large-scale internet crimes for large financial rewards.

The internet, where criminals can hide behind anonymous screen names, has increased the stakes and expanded the realm of opportunities to commit identity theft and similar crimes. Catching such cybercriminals is difficult, and fewer than 5 percent are caught. Firms are taking steps to prevent these costly computer crimes and problems, which fall into several major categories:.

One of the latest forms of cybercrime involves secretly installing keylogging software via software downloads, e-mail attachments, or shared files. Trojan horses are programs that appear to be harmless and from legitimate sources but trick the user into installing them. For example, a Trojan horse may claim to get rid of viruses but instead infects the computer. Trojan horses do not, however, infect other files or self-replicate.

Viruses can hide for weeks, months, or even years before starting to damage information. To protect data from virus damage, virus protection software automatically monitors computers to detect and remove viruses.

Program developers make regular updates available to guard against newly created viruses. In addition, experts are becoming more proficient at tracking down virus authors, who are subject to criminal charges. Unfortunately, a recent survey of IT executives worldwide revealed that over two-thirds expect a cyberattack in the near future.

Security plans should have the support of top management, and then follow with procedures to implement the security policies. Some security policies can be handled automatically, by technical measures, whereas others involve administrative policies that rely on humans to perform them. Preventing costly problems can be as simple as regularly backing up applications and data. In addition, employees should back up their own work regularly. Another good policy is to maintain a complete and current database of all IT hardware, software, and user details to make it easier to manage software licenses and updates and diagnose problems.

In many cases, IT staff can use remote access technology to automatically monitor and fix problems, as well as update applications and services. Companies should never overlook the human factor in the security equation. Crooks can also get passwords by viewing them on notes attached to a desk or computer monitor, using machines that employees leave logged on when they leave their desks, and leaving laptop computers with sensitive information unsecured in public places.

Portable devices, from handheld computers to tiny plug-and-play flash drives and other storage devices including mobile phones , pose security risks as well. They are often used to store sensitive data such as passwords, bank details, and calendars. Mobile devices can spread viruses when users download virus-infected documents to their company computers. Companies can also use flash drive monitoring software that prevents unauthorized access on PCs and laptops.

Companies have many ways to avoid an IT meltdown, as Figure describes. The very existence of huge electronic file cabinets full of personal information presents a threat to our personal privacy. Until recently, our financial, medical, tax, and other records were stored in separate computer systems. Computer networks make it easy to pool these data into data warehouses. Companies also sell the information they collect about you from sources like warranty registration cards, credit-card records, registration at websites, personal data forms required to purchase online, and grocery store discount club cards.

Telemarketers can combine data from different sources to create fairly detailed profiles of consumers. The September 11, , tragedy and other massive security breaches have raised additional privacy concerns. As a result, the government began looking for ways to improve domestic-intelligence collection and analyze terrorist threats within the United States. Legislators and privacy activists worry that such programs as this and ones that eavesdrop electronically could lead to excessive government surveillance that encroaches on personal privacy.

The stakes are much higher as well: errors in data mining by companies in business may result in a consumer being targeted with inappropriate advertising, whereas a governmental mistake in tracking suspected terrorists could do untold damage to an unjustly targeted person. Increasingly, consumers are fighting to regain control of personal data and how that information is used. Privacy advocates are working to block sales of information collected by governments and corporations.

With information about their buying habits, advertisers can target consumers for specific marketing programs.

The challenge to companies is to find a balance between collecting the information they need while at the same time protecting individual consumer rights. Most registration and warranty forms that ask questions about income and interests have a box for consumers to check to prevent the company from selling their names. Many companies now state in their privacy policies that they will not abuse the information they collect. Regulators are taking action against companies that fail to respect consumer privacy.

Because companies are more dependent on computers than ever before, they need to protect data and equipment from natural disasters and computer crime. Types of computer crime include unauthorized use and access, software piracy, malicious damage, and computer viruses.

To protect IT assets, companies should prepare written security policies. They can use technology such as virus protection, firewalls, and employee training in proper security procedures.

Skip to content Using Technology to Manage Information. Data security is under constant attack. In , cybercriminals penetrated Equifax, one of the largest credit bureaus in the nation, and stole the personal data of more than million people. What impact do identity theft and other data-security issues have on global networking and e-commerce?

Keep IT Confidential: Privacy Concerns The very existence of huge electronic file cabinets full of personal information presents a threat to our personal privacy. Describe the different threats to data security. How can companies protect information from destruction and unauthorized use? Why are privacy rights advocates alarmed over the use of techniques such as data warehouses and data mining? Summary of Learning Outcomes What are the best ways to protect computers and the information they contain?

Glossary computer virus A computer program that copies itself into other software and can spread to other computer systems. Previous: Technology Management and Planning. Next: Trends in Information Technology. Share This Book Share on Twitter. Develop a comprehensive plan and policies that include portable as well as fixed equipment.

Protect the equipment itself with stringent physical security measures to the premises. Protect data using special encryption technology to encode confidential information so only the recipient can decipher it.

Stop unwanted access from inside or outside with special authorization systems. These can be as simple as a password or as sophisticated as fingerprint or voice identification.

Install firewalls , hardware or software designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from a private network. Monitor network activity with intrusion-detection systems that signal possible unauthorized access, and document suspicious events. Conduct periodic IT audits to catalog all attached storage devices as well as computers.

Use technology that monitors ports for unauthorized attached devices and turn off those that are not approved for business use.

Train employees to troubleshoot problems in advance, rather than just react to them. Hold frequent staff-training sessions to teach correct security procedures, such as logging out of networks when they go to lunch and changing passwords often.

Make sure employees choose sensible passwords, at least six and ideally eight characters long, containing numbers, letters, and punctuation marks. Avoid dictionary words and personal information. Establish a database of useful information and FAQ frequently asked questions for employees so they can solve problems themselves.

Develop a healthy communications atmosphere.

2 thoughts on “How to protect the information stored on a computer

  1. Nijin

    Sad that many young people start life with massive amounts of student debt following their passions. The exact opposite of focusing on profit.


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