Data Security for Your Precious Photos and Art
Remember that time you shot 50 frames for a product promo and lost all the files because your hard drive crashed and you hadn't backed up in a year? Or how about the time you spent 75 minutes removing blemishes from a nervous bride's acne-plagued complexion so her wedding memories would be flawlessâ€”and that virus destroyed your files? When your livelihood depends on JPEG, GIF, PDF and other graphic files, protecting the files should be your number one priority. Think of your hard drive as your storefront; you need a sprinkler system to protect from fire, an alarm to protect from theft and a lock to keep unwanted visitors away.
The best computer security has several levels, like antivirus software, online backup, spyware, spam filters and firewalls. You don't need to have all five, but using more than one layer of protection for your most precious assets will
Antivirus software is designed to find and destroy programs like viruses and worms. Because viruses are constantly being updated, and the creators of those viruses are always looking for new ways to infect computers, antivirus software must be updated regularly. There are many kinds of antivirus software available, many come packaged with a new computer.
When looking for antivirus software, make sure it is easy to understand, and be sure to fully read any prompts or decisions the software asks you to make. Antivirus software can make your computer run slowly if it is busy defending against harmless websites. Allowing or preventing the wrong program from accessing your computer, or making the wrong decision can lead to a security breach and a virus infection. Make sure to understand all the things the antivirus software asks you to do before clicking OK or cancel.
Online backup, or remote backup stores files, folders, or the entire contents of a hard drive eliminate the risk of data loss as a result of numerous disasters, such as fire, theft, file corruption etc. With a high-speed Internet connection and a Web browser interface, the remote files and folders appear as if they are stored on an external local hard drive. Encryption and password protection help to ensure privacy and security.
Spyware will prevent malicious software from secretly accessing your private information. Spyware often comes loaded onto free software like games, toolbars or programs. Being smart about the programs you allow on your hard drive can be a good prevention against spyware. A good spyware program will detect software trying to steal information like credit card numbers and destroy it before the spyware can transmit any of the information.Â These are all essential aspects to good security software, but the most important is using common sense when you are on the web. This can prevent many attacks, and having good security software will prevent the attacks common sense cannot.
Utilizing the spam filter in your email is another way to prevent data loss or virus infection. The best way to avoid spam is to avoid giving out your email address, but that can sometimes be a challenge. Online shopping, site registration, coupon emails and other online interactions almost all require an email address, and many of those companies sell those email addresses to third parties, opening you up to an influx of unwanted spam and dangerous emails.
A good way to dodge this is to have two separate email accounts. One for friends, family and other needed correspondence, and another for online shopping, coupons and the like. This way, your primary inbox does not become stuffed with useless junk mail, and you are less likely to accidentally open an email that can infect your computer.
A firewall prevents outside users, like identity thieves and hackers, from remotely accessing your information. Hackers can break into your computer to steal tax information, bank account data, personal information and passwords and usernames--none of which is good for data security. A firewall is absolutely essential if your computer is connected to the internet, but it will not protect from some forms of attack. Viruses, spam and vulnerable wireless networks will not be protected by a firewall.