Data: most people read it as “MyReport.doc”or “Florida_Trip.mp4,” but it is really hundreds of thousands of 1’s and 0’s in combinations to make what you see on your screen. Your data collection is like a trillion light switches all in a line. The last thing you want is for someone to remove them all, cause a power surge, or give them to someone else. Mass computer interaction has made many people flippant about the way they handle their files. Data management is important, so people need to make sure they aren’t losing any of their precious data. Here are a few common mistakes:
People are naive when it comes to file naming and protecting. If a file is important, it should be stored in a secure organized location, but if it is confidential it should be password protected. Setting passwords on documents, folders, and servers isn’t hard, but it does take forethought. Your administrators should come up with a standardized system to teach people how to password protect data and what data they should protect. The second component of password protection is password complexity. Some people password protect documents, but the passwords are useless because of their lack of complexity. “Password1”and “ABC123”won’t cut it anymore. Passwords should be 8 characters at minimum, contain upper and lower case letters, numbers, and, if possible, punctuation. People should never lose their data over something as simple as passwords.
Backups are what make the world go round. Murphy’s law states that, “Anything that can go wrong —will go wrong.”There is no exception in the computer world. Something will inevitably go wrong with a person or device that will take your data and delete it or corrupt it. If you have a back up, your can replace the files and continue on where you left off. Extremely important data should have off-site backup. If a fire, electrical surge, or EMP were to hit your system, at least there would be secure data storage far away from ground zero.
Similar to passwords, your system administrator should closely monitor who has permissions to what files and servers, and who has the ability to change disk permissions. Outside individuals or dishonest employees could access a server and its files if they aren’t closely monitored. It is of immense importance to know who has access, and how much data they can access.
Keep them up, keep them up, keep them up! There are thousands of little Trojans and spy bots out there that are just waiting to lay waste to your computer. In a matter of hours your data could be gone, encrypted, or exploited. Keep your protection up and stay away from shady places on the internet. Filter your emails and train your staff to recognize fake emails and how to handle them.
Power failure can erase all of the changes you just made. You were done with your work, but now it’s gone. Power failure doesn’t have to destroy your data. Get an uninterruptible power supply (or UPS). It will save you data loss and a lot of heartache.
So, who let the data out? Well, no one. You were prepared. Watch out for these 5 mistakes and keep your data safe.