29 Dec 2011

How to protect data online

Even after getting antivirus software and internet security, users still need to make sure they are completely protecting their data, according to Neil Rubenking of PC Magazine. If a computer is lost, stolen or broken, data could be compromised in many different ways, he said, so people should hide data as much as possible with an encryption or other program.

"If a burglar breaks into your house, will she find your valuables lying around in plain sight? Or have you hidden them away safely? Even if you don't really anticipate burglary, hiding your treasures makes sense," Rubenking said of hiding data. "By the same token, even though your security suite or antivirus really should fend off data-stealing Trojans, protecting your personal data on the chance one might get through is just common sense. Having your data locked down will also help if that burglar makes off with your laptop."

Other ways to protect data on a computer include keeping it offsite, either primarily or as a backup, and emptying the computer's recycle bin on a consistent basis to make sure nothing of importance stays in there.

OnlineTechTips said another obvious way to avoid a breach is not saving credit or debit card data on websites. This will make sure the information is safe. Internet security should be able to protect many things, but users should use common sense, as well.