Thanks to the digital world, people can shop, study, bank, and do everything online. But every time you’re doing these, you share your personal information with people you haven’t met. Some people even store their sensitive information online.
While doing all these online seems easy and reliable, online file storage and sharing come with its share of drawbacks. There are identity theft cases, hacking, and file corruption, among other online file security issues.
So, how do you keep your online documents secure? Here 13 tips that are proven to work for both businesses and individuals.
1. Be High Alert
One way to stay away from hackers and impersonators is to always be on the lookout. You must know where your personal information is stored and who can access them. Avoid sharing any information to people online unless you know who you’re dealing with and what they’re going to do with the info.
Don’t click on links asking you to share your personal information. If a company you have an account with asks for this information through a link, type the company’s name on Google, go to their contact site, and talk to their customer service.
2. Dispose of Your Personal Information Securely
There are those online files you no longer use and are taking too much space off your storage. The best thing to do about them is to dispose of them. But even when you decide to delete them, there are procedures to follow so that they don’t end up in the hands of the wrong people.
If you’re disposing of your PC, make sure you get rid of all the personal information. You must wipe it clean and overwrite the hard drive. If disposing of your phone, transfer all vital information to the new device and delete everything on the old device permanently.
3. Encrypt Your Online Data
You don’t have to be an IT guru to know how to encrypt your personal information. There are many tools available nowadays that can make your encryption easy.
Start by securing your browser because this is the first place that many information leaks take place. A secure browser comes with a ‘lock’ icon in the status bar, which guarantees the safety of your information.
If you do transactions online, make sure you get encryption software that scrambles any information sent over the internet. Make sure the site has the lock icon before you can send your personal information.
4. Carry Out Regular Backup of Your Data
Another important way to protect your online documents is to carry out regular backups. Data loss through theft or malware attacks is common with any online storage.
Unfortunately, 68 percent of small businesses don’t have a data recovery plan in case a disaster occurs. These uncertainties can bring down your business or bring a lot of inconveniences to your personal life. The longer it takes to recover your data, the more the loss.
Without a reliable data backup process, it will take you a lot of money and time to restore essential information for your business. Therefore, you should never ignore the need to have a secure data backup plan.
5. Secure Your Wireless Network
You need to secure both your home and business wireless networks. If you don’t have a secure password for your WiFi, you can easily give access to people within the proximity to hijack it. Some may be as harmless as just attempting to get free internet access, but you can never take things for granted.
Don’t share the login information with any person unless you know them personally. If you have a business WiFi, be more vigilant on its security by keeping it hidden, encrypted, and secure. Make sure you secure both your computer and your router.
There are many things that happen to an unsecured network. Hackers can use your network to access your personal information. Others can hijack your network connectivity and use it to carry out illegal actions that can get you in trouble.
6. Check All Connected Apps and Accounts
Do you have any accounts or apps connected to your cloud storage? If yes, then you must know that they can be very vulnerable, and hackers can get to them from any corners.
You need to be on the lookout by regularly checking the third-party apps that can get access to your account. If you find any, you should get rid of them immediately before they wreak havoc on your account information. Be very careful when doing this because you can end up getting rid of apps that you’re still using.
7. Use E-Signs to Protect Your Online Documents
If you and your employees always share documents online, esignatures will come in handy to help you secure these documents. The e-signs provide the highest protection level for your online documents, allowing you to send and track your docs effectively.
You can get an online signature maker tool that helps you secure your documents. You should not worry about the safety of this method because the tools don’t store your signature data, and no one can see or access them from your browser.
8. Deactivate Your Old Devices
When you have cloud storage that lets you sync your files using multiple devices, you should be on the lookout for those you’re not using. You need to disconnect any old devices that are still connected to your accounts. Anyone can access these devices, and you might even forget that you had files in there.
If you want to uninstall an app from your device, make sure you sign out first. If you have any browser you’re not using, make sure you sign out your accounts. If you’re using OneDrive, you can do this remotely. Go to your Microsoft account, view all devices, and remove those associated with your account.
9. Adapt the Art of Signing Out
Sometimes you want to stay signed in to your accounts to make it easy to access them every time you need something. This is not always safe, especially if you have very sensitive information in there. Anyone can get access to the device and view your personal information.
If you’re done with whatever you’re doing, it’s crucial to sign out so that the next person using the device will not have access to your information. This is more crucial if you’re sharing the computer with the rest of the family or office mates.
10. Simplify Security Using Folders
If you have your documents organized in folders, it will be easier for you to protect and access them. Folders keep your online document security easy. If you want to adjust anything, it will only take you a matter of seconds.
You don’t need to manually adjust the settings of every document whenever you need to because the folders allow you to do everything once and for all. Make sure you name the folders appropriately and sort out the files carefully to avoid misfiling.
11. Employ Mobile Security for Your Online Documents
Thanks to the introduction of mobile devices, even data security, access, and sharing are made easy. Allow everyone that is authorized to use the documents to access them through their mobile devices.
But when you do this, ensure you disable automatic login so that the security of your data is not compromised when any of the devices get lost. Also, disable electronic exports so that your employees do not export or share sensitive information.
12. Always Check and Configure Privacy Setting of Your Apps
Many apps come with privacy settings that determine the kind of information you can store or share. However, these settings keep changing, and if you’re not careful, you might miss out on something important.
Always go back to the settings once in a while to see if you’re still on track. Make sure you run an audit on these apps and ensure they do not go beyond the set remit. Make sure they’re not collecting and controlling more data about you that they shouldn’t.
13. Secure Your Devices
You’re not only protecting your accounts, but your PC, smartphone, and tablet devices should be secured as well. There are countless instances where your devices get lost or leave your eye-sight for a few minutes. You don’t want them to get on the hands of people that can use them for malicious activities.
Your data protection begins with the protection of your devices. Make sure you have a secure password to lock your devices. This way, you will give people a difficult time getting access to your personal information.
Your Documents Security Is Your Duty
The security of your documents is something you can never take for granted, whether it’s personal or for business purposes. When carrying out any kind of protection for your online documents, make sure you don’t end up complicating things so much that you lock yourself out.
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