File security entails the protection of your files from the wrong hands, loss or damage. It could involve setting up any of the following: access control and permissions of the computer, file attribute, and installation of security softwares. Also, It could involve setting up of physical barriers to the computer. It is an essential feature that should be put in place by the users of computer and should not be taken lightly.
Unfortunately, many users do not take this serious and so their files are often vulnerable to compromise. Daily, we allow friends and strangers to plug their external storage devices to our computers either to receive or transfer files. We connect to the internet with our PCs or smartphones to browse the web. We send and receive mails, download files, sign up and many more. Many times we do these without taking proper security measures to secure our files.
WHY FILE SECURITY?
File security is very important. The following are the reasons why you would want to make sure your files are secure.
- Loss of data: this is a situation whereby certain files get missing in your computer. It can be intentional or unintentional.
- Data theft: if you have sensitive information such as credit card details or password on your computer. Then, you need to make file security your priority. Files can be stolen when someone gets access to your computer physically and makes use of external hard drive or flash drive to copy files. Alternatively, it can be stolen by hackers who may not need to have access to your computer physically. They achieve that over the network or internet by using malicious softwares or links.
- Data destruction: this is a state where data is over-written using software based procedures.
- Data corruption: errors may occur in the course of writing, reading, processing, transmission or storage which result in unintended change of the original data. Some malware could corrupt files.
WAYS TO SECURE YOUR FILES
- Always backup: it is a good practice to back up your files. This will ensure that you can get them in a situation of loss or damage. You can back up your files on external drives such as flash drive, external hard disk, optical disk, memory cards. An alternative means of back up is the cloud storage such as google drives or dropbox. see the four (4) popular cloud storage with their respective plans
- Don’t run or install a software from any unknown source or untrusted sites. Running or installing a software from unknown source can make your computer vulnerable to attacks. Some software are malicious and have been designed to corrupt the files or programs of the users.
- Firewall: It’s an application that lets you to set rules which control traffic to and from your computer or network. Inbound or outbound connections that do not match a rule are blocked. The security rules can specify how and when connections between computers are authenticated and protected by using Internet Protocol Security. It allows or block connections to certain program and ports.
- Hide a file or folder: Any file that you hide in windows will not be visible in the directory list. To revert this, you have to uncheck the Don’t show hidden files, or drive settings.
- Password protect your files: using a password to protect your file helps to keep it from prying eyes. In MS windows 7, 8 and 10, you will need to install utility software such as 7 zip, AES crypt or folder lock to enable this feature.
- Encryption of data: to encrypt means to put information into a form of code that prevent people without authorized access from looking into. someone who knows the encryption key could decrpyt the file. It is very important that you back up your files before encrypting it. Power failure during this process could render your data useless.
- Install Anti malware: They will help you to scan, detect and remove virus, worms, spyware, Trojan horses, and other kinds of malwares that can change the behavior of your computer programs. Before you install any anti malware, make sure it is from a trusted source. Hackers often make malicious software and name them as antivirus software.
- VPN: VPN is an acronym for virtual private network. It uses a tunneling protocol. This enables users in a private network to send and receive data across the internet as though their devices were directly connected to the private network. VPN makes use of authentication methods. Therefore, it allows you to have a secure connection.
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