Keep Computer Data Secure

The new ways that we handle information electronically make it easy to do business, but not without their own unique problems.


ENCRYPTION

If you live or work in a high-crime area, have a great deal of sensitive information stored on your computer, or just want to be extra sure that everything is secure, you can move into data encryption. You can purchase software programs that will encrypt your hard drive and the files on it. These programs use a key—a group of letters and numbers—to make the information on the hard drive unreadable to anyone without the key.

Depending on the software that you use, it may not be compatible with file encryption. You will have to check with your business software vendor, or with the company selling the encryption software. Also beware of using encryption on older, slower computers, as they may not have the power and speed to operate effectively with encryption. The computer has to do many math functions to decode the information, and that can take a lot of power.

So now you have some basic security tips to protect yourself and your customers. In my next column, I will cover in more detail what you need to know about protecting credit card numbers and other sensitive data.

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