7 Steps to Protect Your Local Computer Data

As we store more data online on our email, social media, and financial accounts, we must enhance security with complex passwords, cybersecurity software, and safe browsing practices. But what about the data we store locally on computers?

Our pictures, videos, and documents are essential local files that need protection. Some of us also store our cryptocurrency keys offline for safekeeping. Then, there are critical files that help software run. Here are some ways to secure this local computer data:

1. Use Backups

Create regular offline and cloud-based online backups regularly. While the process may seem tedious, it’s worth securing essential files. You can use an external drive for offline backups.

2. Try Air-Gapped Backups

Use air-gapped backup solutions if ransomware attacks are a concern. The primary difference between conventional backups and air-gapped backup systems is that the latter doesn’t connect to the Internet or a network. So, a threat actor will find it challenging to corrupt such backups with file-locking malware.

3. Encrypt Your Data

You should use encrypted hard drives or encryption software because encryption renders your files unreadable to anyone without an encryption key. Just remember to keep your encryption key safe to avoid frustration and tragedy.

4. Rely on an Advanced Virus Scan

Computer viruses are nasty because they target your data and spread fast. They inject their code into files, corrupting them, sometimes irreversibly. But viruses aren’t the only malware that can destroy or steal data. Here are some more severe programs you need to keep out of your system:

  • Trojan horse malware
  • Spyware
  • Keyloggers
  • Computer worms
  • Ransomware

It would be best if you regularly used a proactive virus scan download to look for malware because your computer’s built-in antivirus is not sufficient for advanced malware protection. For instance, Windows 10 ransomware protection offers false positives and crashes software.

5. Invest in Rugged Computers

Your regular desktop or laptop can be susceptible to physical damage from drops, extreme temperature, liquid spills, or even dust. For serious data protection, invest in a rugged computer that’s been drop tested and is waterproof and airtight. Rugged PCs usually have no moving parts and have greater longevity.

6. Use SSDs instead of HDDs

As you probably know, Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) are an older technology that use moving parts like platters, spindles, read/write arms, etc. These moving parts can break from exposure to dust or falls, leaving your data corrupted. While Solid-State Drives (SSDs) cost a little more per gigabyte, they are significantly more durable because they don’t have moving parts. Instead of storing data on platters, SSDs store them on electronic chips.

7. Don’t Open Phishing Emails

Phishing emails may appear legitimate, but they’re an attack vector for scams and malicious software like viruses, worms, or ransomware. Some phishing emails can fool you into opening malicious websites that employ drive-by downloads to infect your computer with viruses and other malware. So, please be cautious about unknown emails and any other online messages.

Your local computer files can be corrupted in various ways. Protect them with the right software and hardware to avoid headaches.

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