Everybody needs to take measures to protect the private information stored on their computer, but for college students, security becomes even more important. Many college students have to go back and look through their old schoolwork to put together portfolios and sometimes even resumes – but if something happened to that information, like a simple hard drive failure, years of hard work could be gone forever.
This guide will cover three easy ways to ensure your data remains safe and secure no matter what happens to the computer itself.
1. Heavy Duty Virus Scanner
Viruses can happen to anyone. Most people who don’t look out for viruses can have them for months without even noticing. Not all viruses are malicious and obvious. Some of them steal your information quietly and discreetly. You might pick up a virus from otherwise honest sources – sometimes legitimate websites accidentally run fraudulent advertisements that trick visitors into downloading nasty software. Even just visiting an infected webpage can pass the malicious software to your computer.
2. Anti-Theft Software
Hackers aren’t even the biggest danger. Thieves can do much more damage. If a person is bold enough to steal your laptop, it’s safe to assume they are bold enough to use your credit card information or even your identity too. A prankster in another dorm might decide to make embarrassing posts from your social networking accounts. Anti-theft software will help you track down your computer after a theft, and some software will even take a picture of the thief with your webcam and send it to your email.
3. Multiple Secure Backups
Sometime during your college career, you will need to put together a portfolio of previous work. This common task is impossible if you happened to lose your data somewhere along the line. Anything from a virus to hardware failure can erase all of your hard work. Make sure to backup your data to at least two sources – an online copy and physical copy are usually sufficient.
Much is at stake. Your irreplaceable photos, your receipts and invoices for tax time, even your passwords and login information is easy target for thieves or hackers unless you take the appropriate preventative measures. Thieves aside, all it takes is for a pet to knock your laptop off the table for your information to disappear forever, irretrievable to even the most experienced computer professionals. Don’t leave your data security to chance.