You just graduated and now you’re starting your life in a new city. How can you be sure that your data is safe and that important files or documents don’t get lost along the way? Here are some simple steps you can take to ensure that your information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

college grad

1) Use a Firewall

A firewall can be either a piece of hardware or a software program that helps block hackers and viruses from accessing your computer via the internet. It is vital that you protect very computer in your home and mobile devices.

2) Scan for Viruses and Spyware Regularly

The first step in this process is to protect your computer with antivirus software, there are many options and can be easily downloaded. The second step is to keep you keep the software up-to–date so there is not a lapse in your protection. Many people make the mistake of thinking that once they download the software, they will be protected for as long as that software is on their computer. Step three is to scan your computer for viruses weekly (only a light or quick scan is needed). If you run “light” scans often, a full system scan can be performed less often, but should still be run monthly.

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3) Back Up Your Data

Data backup isn’t usually thought of as security, but when it comes to your personal data and files, backups are a very important security step. Having a recent backup to restore can quickly undo any damage done by malware and ensure that data doesn’t fall victim to accidental physical damage that could happen during a big move.

4) Encrypt, Encrypt, Encrypt

If you are using public Wi-Fi at an airport or hotel, there is no way to determine who could be monitoring your online activity. Luckily, there are solutions like Hotspot Shield, a free app that will create an alternative IP address to hide your location, as well as detect and block many forms of malware.

It’s also very important to encrypt your hard drive, since most young people move frequently and sometimes even move overseas. This is especially important for those who travel to areas of high cyber threat such as Russia and China. There is one problem with encrypting your hard drive, if the drive crashes the files will remain encrypted and usually cannot be recovered.

Young woman sitting in front of laptop screaming

5) Use a Digital Vault

You can avoid the difficulty associated with recovering encrypted backups by using a digital vault to store all of your important documents and files. Using this method will allow you to encrypt your files and protect your information with less worry about crashes. MyCyberSafe is a great resource to protect your most important files and documents in the cloud. MyCyberSafe is more secure than a computer hard drive, includes military grade encryption, and has a duel-login feature which ensures security.

Moving can be a very stressful time, but if you follow these steps, data security can become one less thing to worry about.