I really make a point to tell everyone I know that they need to up their game in terms of backing up their data on their computer and updating security measures. The risk of encountering trouble via fraud, data theft, hacking, and more grows every day. I mean even reading a site like Krebs On Security is an eye opening experience that shows just how vulnerable you and your data can be.
One thing that you can start with is starting an online automated backup routine. this is so easy once you sign up for a service like Backblaze or similar. I personally use Backblaze and MyPCBackup for my data backups. They are online backups and they run automatically if you are connected to the internet. I really like the no-brainer approach to backing up my data. I don’t have to remember to do it all the time and it’s nice to know that my data is backed up “off site” so that a disaster to my apartment or house is not going to destroy my originals AND my backups. An even more secure way to go would be to use these online backup services as well as a hard copy on an external hard drive at home. This is what I do with my most important files that I can’t afford to lose.
In addition to backing up your data you should also think about computer security very seriously. There is a constant race between hackers and computer security experts and it’s hard enough to stay ahead of the game even with the latest and greatest software installed on your computer. So I suggest starting with the basics: Norton 360 is a great application and a software program I use day in and day out. It runs in the background and protects my computer from malicious files on the fly.
However, sometimes even Norton fails to prevent certain malwares and adware from getting on my computer. This happened to me recently when my PC got infected by the Conduit search adware. The adware took over my browser and installed a plethora of things on my computer that were making it impossible to use it right. So I downloaded and used Spyhunter 4 which is safe and effective. I really liked the speed and efficiency with which the program worked. It’s pretty easy to use even if you’re a bit technically challenged.
Another strategy that you should consider is to just mind the websites that you’re visiting. Gambling and adult websites are notorious hotbeds for computer infections and “drive by downloads”. They should be avoided. If you MUST go to these websites I suggest buying a second cheap computer that you don’t store any sensitive data on that you can afford to chuck if it gets infected. That’s probably the best way to go about it.
All in all it’s kind of change in routine if you want to properly protect your data, but in the end it’s worth it. I can’t tell you how glad I was I had backed up my last laptop before the hard disk completely broke on me!