How To Protect Your Data

Photo Caption: To fight phishing and the like, get your computer checked regularly. Photo Credit: NAPS


Chances are your data, whether personal or at work, has been compromised. Even before half the adults in America had their information stolen from a major credit-reporting agency, there were about 178 million personal records exposed in 2015 and it’s estimated that number rose to more than 200 million in 2016.

The technology you use every day—computers at work or home, printers and your mobile phone—needs to be protected. By 2020 there are projected to be 20.8 billion Internet-connected things—and they’ll all need protection.

Fortunately, however, you can go a long way toward protecting your data with seven simple steps.

1. Back up all critical data saved on your personal machines.

2. Keep dynamic and different passwords across applications; consider using a password manager.

3. Be very diligent whenever clicking on a link or attachment in any e-mail—don’t get phished.

4. Be very cautious about entering data into a pop-up window.

5. Review your privacy settings on all social media tools.

6. Shred your bills, medical records and the like before discarding them. You can also have them shredded at a trusted retailer such as Staples, which, in October, will shred up to two pounds for you at no charge.

7. Get your electronic devices professionally reviewed and updated.

Making this easier is a free offer from Staples during the month of October.

You simply drop off your PC or bring it in and while you wait the tech-savvy associates there will review the device for security issues or update your PC/Desktop Network Security plan, make any necessary recommendations and offer 10 percent off the service recommendations you decide to get.

The security assessment service includes:

• Either an in-store or remote connection service

• A review of MSConfig and a list of current start-up apps

• A check to ensure that the following are installed, enabled and up to date: Windows or personal firewall, anti-virus software, all operating and applications security patches

• A scan for adware, spyware and malware

• Based on a network and/or device security assessment, Staples will provide you with the necessary steps to improve and protect the machine.