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Personal File Backup and Security
September 29, 2014
Hello Everyone,

Last year, it was estimated that each US household owns in average 5.7 Internet connected devices. Certainly, there are additional devices per household that contain personal files which may not be accounted for by market research studies. Such devices may include USB storage devices, digital cameras and camcorders, as well as old laptops, cell phones, tablets, and phablets. We all want our personal files to be secure and available from anywhere when we need them, but in order to accomplish this goal, we must first ask ourselves the following general questions:

1) What devices and accounts do I own,

2) Where are these devices and accounts now,

3) What files do I have stored on them, and

4) How can I better manage them and reduce my risk.

You must answer the questions 1 through 3 for yourself as the answers for each person may be different. However, there are some common practices that we can apply to address the question 4 above and better manage our files to make sure they are secure and available when we need them.

File Backup and Security Tips

1. Have a strategy before you take any action which may place you at even a greater risk. For example, consider the following:

a) do you need access to your files from one device or multiple devices?

b) will you need Internet access and synched folders?

c) do you need all files on all devices?

2. Avoid storage duplication. Some people over backup their files and store the same files on multiple internet accounts or devices. This can make file management a nightmare.

3. Don't risk with cheap or free services. It's better to be selective and spend some money to better execute your strategy.

4. Spread your backup to take advantage of great services for less cost and, reduce your risk. For example, you can auto-backup your phone pictures on the phone carrier cloud, and, your other files on another cloud storage account.

5. Use encrypted USB with password protection. If you use a portable USB storage device, make sure you have plenty of storage space, encrypted segment, and password protection on your USB.

6. Don't place everything in the cloud storage account. You must be selective and decide whether it makes sense to store all your files somewhere in the cloud.

7. Don't sync all files in the cloud with all your devices. After you decide which files you want to save in the cloud, you must decide on which devices you want to sync your files. Each time you store files on a device, you risk losing the device and the files.

8. Activate dual authentication whenever available. Many Internet accounts allow for dual authentication to make sure someone else does not get easy access to your files.

9. Choose strong and unique passwords. Visit the blog and search for the keyword "password" to find articles related to passwords and learn more.

10. Change your passwords frequently. The frequency depends largely on how much risk you take based on the types of information you store on your devices and in the cloud.

11. Remove the files from your local drive on your device before selling or giving away the devices.

12. Set up your devices to lock automatically in case they are lost or stolen.

13. Consider a remote locate, lock or wipe service for your mobile devices.

14. Choose which files to sync with your cloud storage application. You can select the folders and files that you want to sync from account settings and preferences.

Until next time, be identity safe,

Henry Bagdasarian

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