By Kelly Reark
I am here today to talk to you about the importance of using protection.
Seriously. Protect yourself from viruses and other digitally transmitted diseases. With all the forms of protection out there, it would be a shame for you to be exposed.
I use several [explicative deleted] words to describe computer viruses and hack jobs that are out to destroy my personal information, family photos, and databases of real estate contacts. Here are a few ways to protect yourself and your data:
1. Back up your files, and do it often. You can use a thumb drive, cloud data service, external hard drive, or even the “old-fashioned” way of burning your files to a CD. There are companies out there that will even do it for you. The main thing is to make sure you have a system in place so that you frequently store your data and can recover your files should the worse happen.
2. While you are at it, backup your anti-virus software each day. Your job is (likely) to sell real estate. While you are out there, someone else is sitting in front of a computer. Their job is to invent viruses.
3. Know who your friends are. Sure, you get friend requests every day from people you “kinda” know, and you want to grow your business… but is it safe to friend everyone that asks? No. Put a system in place to screen your friends and be picky about what information you share with them.
4. Beware of the dreaded spam. Our e-mail addresses are posted in so many places, that they are bound to fall into the spam net. One accidental click of an attachment and you’re infested. Most e-mail programs offer some spam protection. Make sure yours does, and if you aren’t getting good results it would be wise to upgrade to something that blocks this germ-infested stuff.
5. Protect files by using passwords on individual documents, or by adjusting the share permission on entire files of data.
6. Make your passwords tougher. No more birthdays, pet names, or easy-to-guess stuff. Add symbols and numbers with letters when allowed and you will increase your security by about 30,000 percent.
7. Encrypt your data. This one is a little tougher, and worth probing the Web to read more about.
McGruff the Crime Dog used to come to our elementary school and tell us that prevention was half the battle. He’s still right.
Kelly Reark is a native Floridian and e-PRO® with Gasparilla Properties, Inc. in Boca Grande, Southwest Florida. Visit her blog: www.BocaGrandeRealEstateNews.com.