The holiday is just around the corner so we better expect a “Halloween special” from the bad guys. To mark the event, hackers will do their own trick-or- treating and guising and so there won’t be shortage of ghosts, demons, goblins, you name it, appearing as new viruses, spywares, malwares, phishing sites, spam emails, or perhaps something old just with a new “interface”. And the bad news is that some of their tricks can pose fatal threats to your data privacy. So it’s high time you treated your PC and data for the protection they deserve! The security tips we are going to share in this article will make sure that your personal data can’t be accessed by third parties even if your antivirus fails to protect your files.
Let’s approach online and offline privacy from a different way than it is done by traditional anti-virus and Internet security software products. It does not mean, of course, that you don’t need them. You do, but there are scenarios when they just can’t protect your privacy and you need to apply different security measures that are designed to tackle those issues.
What scenarios are we talking about? First of all, what if a virus, spyware, malware does get into your PC’s system, in spite of having a professional antivirus installed on it? It can and does happen. A virus may simply not be in the software’s database, you might forget to update it, you may surf the Internet via an unsecured WiFi connection, you may do click one of those links you shouldn’t have, and so on. Hackers may also come disguised as employees at your trusted cloud storage provider. Hard to believe? Don’t forget that many provider encrypt your data for secure storage, but also manages the decryption keys! Or what if your laptop gets stolen or lost? All your data will be at the direct reach of unauthorized parties! That’s why we would like to draw your attention to two crucially important, yet too often overlooked areas of online/offline privacy protection.
One of them is the need for regular erasure of your online/offline activity traces and deleted files, which very easily qualify as sensitive data. They include traces of your browsing history, Windows activities, applications usage, deleted emails, deleted cloud storage desktop files, the Recycle Bin, and removable media usage. The first thing a hacker will do is check your recent activity traces and take it from there. The sites you recently entered your log-in details on, the cookies those sites saved, the documents you were working on, the files you opened, the chat-room conversations you had are all open invitations for them to abuse your privacy. If you regularly run the Privacy Guard feature in east-tec Eraser it will greatly decrease the risk of leaving traces behind that can lead hackers to your sensitive data. Please also note, that simple deletion will not remove files from Windows! It only marks them available for overwriting, but leaves them there recoverable till they actually get overwritten! So hackers can easily recover sensitive information from deleted emails, deleted files from your cloud storage desktop folder, deleted private photos, deleted browsing history, deleted chat-room conversations and so on.
The other important privacy practice we highly recommend is the encryption of the sensitive data you store on the computer. Encryption turns your plaintext files into unintelligent ciphertext, so even if hackers manage to access it one way or another, if you have encrypted the data with advanced methods using east-tec InvisibleSecrets or east-tec SafeBit, they won’t be able to make any use of it! Your business plans, financial data, log-in details, private photos, saved emails, etc., will remain safe. Please consider adding these two little known and used practices of privacy protection to your to-do-list and if you have already been using them, keep up the good work.
Happy and safe Halloween from all at East-Tec!