Your safety guide
Date of Publishing:20/11/2010
Disaster seldom strikes with a warning. So it's best to be prepared. Rather than wringing your hands in despair, or seeking emergency measures, here are some simple, elementary measures that can save you a lot of time, effort, money and heartache in the long run.
Take frequent backups Yes, you know that, don't you? Well, you may think your files are safe and secure sitting in that swanky new PC or notebook. But anything can happen to a machine. It could be stolen. The hard disk could crash. Or a virus could hit it. So it is advisable to make duplicate backups of important data. And on various mediums and multiple places — inexpensive DVDs, affordable portable hard disks, and even on Internet based services in the cloud like Windows Live SkyDrive (http://is.gd/h7 eJL), Mozy (mozy.com), Dropbox (dropbox.com), and Syncplicity (syncplicity.com). Use an antvirus No matter how insulated you may feel by not allowing other people’s USB drives to be plugged into your PC or laptop, just being on the Internet and receiving mail/attachments makes you vulnerable to virus attacks, spyware, malware, bots, identity theft, rootkits, child safety, spam and all kinds of digital marauders.
So always use an antivirus programme.
Don't install everything blindly Yes, don't install every piece of interesting looking code that you can lay your hands on for free. This goes for applications, games, toolbars, widgets, extensions etc. Even if you uninstall a programme later, there is a chance that it will leave behind some remnant traces that are difficult to detect and purge. Always remember, the cleaner and leaner your entire software set-up, the faster your PC. Be organised and file regularly Don't save files anywhere and everywhere -especially not on the desktop.
Find place for everything and put everything in its place. Make folders systematically and label them according to the appropriate subject, topic or sub-topic.
This will not only make it easier to locate files in a trice even after several weeks or months, but also help you backup folders without a hassle. Delete what you don't need, else junk and unimportant trivia accumulates and starts overshadowing the useful stuff. Secure your smartphone As phones get smarter and smarter, we end up storing more and more of our personal data -nay, almost our entire digital lives -on them.
Letting your entire contact list stray into alien hands where it can be misused is bad enough. Now that some of us keep even our banking and credit card information on it -forget all the email, Facebook, Twitter or other social networking site access -losing your phone is even scarier.
So be careful of what you save on your phone and always -repeat, always use a PIN to lock your phone. For further protection, it is a good idea to install a phone security app as well.
The writer is a part-time publishing consultant and a full-time devotee of all things tech.
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