These are the days when everyone has a computer; in fact, some of us have more than one. It’s no longer the possession of techies and professionals alone – we’re all sending and receiving emails, and we’re all using the Internet for social networking, researching, downloading songs and movies, and doing a hundred and one other things online. It’s easier to buy notebook computers and netbooks today, and with the plethora of cost-efficient options available, it’s easy to see why a laptop is a necessity more than a luxury these days.
Probably the best thing about computers today is that you don’t need to be super tech savvy to know how to use one; but on the downside, you’re in a bind if something goes wrong and you’re not the self-troubleshooting kind. And so you send out your notebook for repairs or maintenance when necessary, but do you remember to remove sensitive information from it?
Unfortunately, most of us tend to accumulate a large amount of information on our computers over a period of time. And if they’re systems that only we use, we tend to get careless about security, even for data that’s extremely sensitive and which could lead to undesirable consequences if it gets into the wrong hands. So before you send out your computer for repairs, ensure that you check these off your to-do list:
• Remove all sensitive information like files that contain passwords for your bank accounts, your PIN, CVV and other important numbers used for your cards, and other details relevant to your bank accounts which could be used to hack them or gain unlawful access to them. Even common information like your date of birth and your mother’s maiden name can be used to gain access to your bank information and used to perpetrate fraud and theft.
• Remove files that contain your social security details, your credit and debit card numbers, and any other details which could be used to perpetrate identity theft.
• Remove files that contain information relevant to your passwords for email accounts and social networks.
• Remove stored passwords on your browsers – you can do this by clearing your history from Settings. Many browsers allow you to see your stored passwords through a “Show Saved Passwords” option.
• Delete photos and other files that could be misused by unscrupulous people or move them to a portable disk or online storage facility.
• Delete any porn photos and videos you may have stored, explicitly or inadvertently. It’s your prerogative of course, but you don’t want the world to know that.
• Back up all important your data to a secure location so that you don’t have to worry about it getting deleted or lost inadvertently. Do this on a regular basis so you don’t lose any important information if your hard disk gets corrupted.
When you use your notebook or any other computer on a regular basis, you must be aware of all the information you have and of the consequences that could arise when this gets into the wrong hands.
This guest post is contributed by Cathy Thomas, she writes on the topic of Online Computer Technician Schools . She welcomes your comments at her email id: cathy83.thomas<@>gmail<.>com.