How To Prevent Unauthorized Access To Data On Your Computer

Unauthorized access refers to invading someone’s computer without permission. It may happen if you leave your workstation unlocked, if you have defenseless access to the internet as well as from viruses and malware. To protect the privacy of your data, you should always adopt some preventive measures, irrespective of the operating system that you are using.

           Users today are aware of password protection that is mandatory for their systems and wireless networks. Despite, cyber rogues can access your private data. There are certain security loopholes that are lesser known to common users and are thus exploited by cyber criminals to gain access to your system.

This article elaborates five different measures that you should adopt to prevent unauthorized access to your system or network:

1. Do not ignore security patches:

              Windows users often tend to ignore the security updates that keep popping up in between work. They contain security patches that are updated periodically to ensure better protection of your data. Updates are required because there are certain susceptibilities in the OS and browsers that are used by hackers to invade your computer. In order to avoid hacking, you are advised to install those updates to apply security patches that can bypass security loopholes. Windows users should download Windows/Antivirus updates without fail. To save time, you can turn on the Automatic Updates. Windows updates consist of security patches that are programmed by Microsoft for their OS, browsers and software.

2. Surfing the internet? Be careful while using the file sharing feature:

             When your system is on a Local Area Network (LAN) and file-sharing is set to unlimited number of users, you are recommended to disable this feature all together. Sharing files and folders only with systems that belong to people you know. Keeping it unspecific can make your system an easy target of rogues for injecting malware or obtaining your personal data.

3. Always keep the Firewall ‘On’:

                Firewall acts as a protective wall between your machine and the internet. All the data that is exchanged between a computer and the server are tracked and scrutinized by the firewall before it is sent across. It can pop up warning messages if it senses some unsafe data that is being directed to your system. Potential threats like virus, malware and spyware can be stopped to a certain limit by the firewall. It is also designed to prevent illegitimate access to your computer.

Malicious programs can invade your system and can carry data outside. In such cases, Windows firewall is capable of alerting the users before data is actually sent out from the computer.

4. Take caution while reading e-mails:

            E-mail security sounds obvious but it is not something that users can afford to neglect. Never open e-mail attachment from unknown sources. It is an old and existing practice to send virus and malware through e-mail attachments that can expose data on your system to cyber rogues.

5. Keep online backup of all your data:

            An infected computer is never safe for browsing important data. It can further worsen the situation by sending data to unauthorized users or rendering the system permanently useless. Keep a copy of all your confidential data on the websites that provide online data storage services. These sites store data on the server for users. These offer unlimited space in lieu of a monthly subscription. They are trustworthy and data is stored safely on the server. You can access and recover them by logging in with a username and password from any machine.

             In case you do not want to leave data in the hands of a third-party website, you can also opt for System recovery function on Windows. This feature restores your system to its original state prior to getting affected by virus. If you feel that someone is misusing your data from the computer, you can do a ‘System Recovery’ to restore it. Users can also opt for this function if there is any other disorder within the system.

             Data security is a perpetual concern for computer users, especially for those who use the internet day-in and day-out. Barely locking your machine with a password of your user account is not enough. You should change the password once in a fortnight. Besides, you are advised to implement the preventive measures discussed in this article for better protection. If you are using a wireless network, secure it with a password. Encrypt the necessary folders and drives as per your requirement. For further knowledge on data security, you can refer to the various discussion forums and how-to guides on the internet.
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