How to Protect Your Data – Whether you use your data for business or for pleasure, you need to protect it. That data may be embarrassing photos of your children for their future wedding day slideshow; a small database of customer information; or even, the next great mystery novel. Basically, the point is, if it is important that only you have access to your data, it needs protection.

Use Paper Storage

The only foolproof way to keep your data protected from online data thieves is to keep your data offline, on paper, and locked away in a filing cabinet. Obviously, this is inconvenient if you need to access your data remotely; need to have it with you, or the location of your filing cabinet experiences a disaster of some kind. This is a viable option for some, but for most, it is a deal-breaker.

Create Backups with External Hard Drives

External hard drives and/or USB flash drives offer an excellent way to keep your data safe and accessible. It is much easier to connect a flash drive to another computer than to lug your computer around. External hard drives and flash drives still have a remote chance of failure though so you need to ensure that you have designed redundancy in your backup system and ensure you have multiple copies of your drives. If one the of the drives fail, becomes corrupt, or is lost; then you have another drive from which to access your data.

While we are on the topic of failing and corrupt hard drives; do not panic should this happen to you. Even wet and physically damaged drives can still retain information on them. Companies like Secure Data Recovery specialize in hard drive recovery and turn panic into relief when your files have been recovered.

Upload your Data to the Cloud

If you have ever uploaded a photo, watched an online movie, or sent an email, you have used the cloud. Since its inception, the internet has swiftly changed our world from a massive metropolis to small village where nearly anyone can share information with another instantly with the click of a button. Cloud services are everywhere, some free while others charge a premium—for services like automated backups and so on.

Cloud services are even more convenient than carrying around a flash drive. You do not need to have anything other than the password to your account and you can access it anywhere you have an internet connection. Now, moving your data online is not necessarily a simple matter. Sure, it is a simple solution but you might come across a road block or two so read TechJaws article about ensuring a smooth transition to the Cloud.

Protect Home Base

If you would rather stay away from the cloud or do not need to bring your data with you consider storing your data on a computer that is not connected to the internet. If this is not convenient, ensure that you use password protection for both your computer and internet service. If at all possible, encrypt the data itself. If the software you use offers password protection, use it; and do not share that password with anyone other than the people who need access. You might even consider a method TechJaws wrote about: Sandboxing.

There are many ways on how to protect your data; you need to choose which one suits your needs best. In fact, you should also select a second option as a backup as well. It is always better to be safe than sorry.