Today we store huge amounts of data and information digitally. Digital storage presents a lot of very useful advantages: it’s often easier to keep up to date, organise, sort through and is generally more easily accessible. In addition, the data is also less likely to be lost. Despite all these advantages, there are still certain disadvantages that need to be taken into consideration... one should be wary of hackers, who are increasingly harder to detect. In this short guide, we present a few basic measures you can implement in order to better safeguard your data. With a few tools and tips you’ll can better protect your data.
Store your data in multiple places
Although less easily misplaced than a piece of paper, digital information can also be lost! If your compute breaks down or if your files get corrupted you risk losing hours of work and key information. This is why it is important to store your data in multiple places, you can choose an external hard drive (or even several) to store multiple versions of your files or you can opt for a cloud solution. Storage services can be susceptible to hacking, but the benefits they offer are significant, especially as they allow you to access your files from anywhere with an internet connection. There are several option for cloud storage and many are easy to use and inexpensive, or even free depending on the amount of storage required. We’d recommend looking into: Dropbox, OneDrive or iCloud if you use Apple.
Choose your passwords carefully
The most important step in making sure your password is secure is picking one that will be very hard to guess. You need to avoid popular passwords. Even though we are in 2019, the password 123456 remains the most used! You can use websites to test the strength of your password, although it’s best not to enter your actual password but a variation instead. To make your accounts safer, we recommend using different passwords for each one.
If you have multiple passwords, it can sometimes be difficult to remember all of them. Many galleries, but also other companies, create a document with a list of passwords so that they can be shared easily with the entire team. A more secure alternative is using a service that allows you to store your passwords online or in an app, for example: https://1password.com/ or https://www.dashlane.com.
If you shared access to a service or tool with a colleague or team member, remember to update your passwords or access settings when they leave. We advise you to note down you you shared files and passwords with so that organise any changes to passwords or access settings when someone no longer works with you.
Keep your computer secure
An easy measure to put in place, but helpful nonetheless is putting a password on your computer and changing the settings so that the computer locks after a few minutes of inactivity. If several people use one computer, it could be a good idea to create different users with different passwords so that everyone can organise themselves as they please and keep some information private if necessary.
Protect your Wi-Fi
Your Wi-Fi password is extremely important. A secure network helps prevent phishing attempts. If another computer is connected to your network it will be able to bypass your firewall and other protection systems, allowing it to more easily access other computers connected to the same network and thus get a hold of your information and data. You can use password generators to create a secure combination that is very difficult to guess, for example: https://www.dashlane.com/features/password-generator
Taking it a step further: Antivirus and firewalls
If you want to take your security a step further, consider setting up a firewall and an antivirus. A firewall will allow you to filter the data exchanged between the internet and your computer and avoid viruses. The firewall cannot detect everything, especially any viruses hidden in downloads or spam emails. That's why antivirus software is also very useful because it can scan your attachments and downloads and notify you if there is something suspicious. There is a very wide choice of antivirus softwares and firewalls available and we advise you to do some research to find the one that fits your needs best according to your budget and operating system.
Once all these measures have been put in place, you will have to make sure that your team follows them as well. Explain the issues to your employees and define clear steps that they should follow in order to adhere to your new data security rules.