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Secure Your Local Data - Offline Protection - 1

Updated on May 2, 2016

We store everything, from media to important business documents, on our PCs. So it goes without saying that protecting this data is of utmost importance. One can only imaging the amout of damage done if you lose a hard drive full of local data.

There are millions of bugs, worms, viruses and malware swimming through the Internet and an infection to your PC is more a question of when rather than if. The average user is sure to have an antivirus program installed, but there are other steps you need to take to ensure that your data is completely protected. The forever changing and improving nature of PC viruses means that even the most reliable antivirus might not be able to detect an infection. In some dire cases, the viruses can even start from a malicious antivirus installation itself.

Apart from protecting your data from malware or viruses, you should also take steps to prevent data loss sue to file corruption and hardware or physical problems. While such incidents occur mostly by accident, having certain file handling practices in place will ensure that you never have to fret when an important document is accidentally deleted, or if it gets corrupted or stolen.

What Is the Threat ?

Your local drive is like a library of everything important, both professionally and stuf that is close to your heart. If you are tech-savvy,you will have annals of photos and videos from all your vacations, a huge collection of music and movies, and important documents like scans of your passport and other sensitive documents. Along with this, you will probably have pen drives and external drives, where you store similar files, most of which is irreplaceable and the kind you wouldn't want in the wrong hands. Viruses and malware can corrupt these drives and render all your data useless. Your data can also be stolen from an unattended PC or from stolen external storage devices so it is important to ensure that files stored on such drives aren't easily accessible even if you have misplaced them.

How It's Done

Your data is relatively safer from infection when using your machine in offline mode and the main threat would come from external storage devices that contain infected files. Exchanging files with a friend or colleague whose machines isn't well protected could lead to infecton of your own machine. Files can also get corrupted, although this is fairly rare. File corruption occurs generally when a file isn't saved correctly or if a program crashes while using the file. You can also do damage to running file if your PC is powered off or is restarted manually when it hangs. File corruption also sometimes occurs when you remove an external storage device without ejecting it correctly.

Files can also be stolen from public access machines or your own local machine by an unauthorized user. A file deleted from Windows Explorer is still present in the recycle bin and some software also create regular backups of files that are being used. An unauthorized user can restore files from the recycle bin or even search for backups or temporary stored files if they are trying to steal your data.

How to Prevent It

The general safety rules to ensure your data is safe are something that any computer user would be aware of. Never leave your PC unattended or unblocked to allow unauthorized users form accessing it. Always ensure that you have saved your work and save multiple copies of the file on different drives or devices to make sure you can still use it from one source if another is corrupted.

Keep Your Hardware Safe

To keep your data safe, you must ensure that your storage hardware is safe. Hard disk drives are vulnerable to physical damage, so external storage drives should be kept secure and safe from shock. You should get a voltage stabilizer or a UPS for your machine to ensure that no damage is done due to fluctuating power supply. These two hazards are the primary causes of damage to hard drives due to which your local data can be lost.

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