For many people, theft goes beyond the actual loss of an item. It’s painful because of the loss of privacy and the invasion that it constitutes. But when the stolen item is a laptop or tablet, that invasion of privacy can go much deeper. It’s possible that if your electronic device falls into the wrong hands it can be used by hackers to gain access to your personal information. This can put you at risk for having your bank accounts compromised, your emails and personal pictures opened, and your identity stolen.

One of the best ways to prevent this from happening is with encryption software that can prevent hackers from reading your data. Here’s what you need to know about this.

1. You need more than a password to be secure

First, just because your laptop or tablet has a password doesn’t mean that it’s secure. Hackers can try what are called “brute-force” attacks to get at your passwords, especially if they have your actual computer and an unlimited time frame to work from. A password won’t protect you because thieves can simply take the hard drive out and hook it up to another computer that doesn’t use your password. That’s why it’s necessary to go to the next level of protection.

2. Invest in encryption

If you truly want to protect your data, invest in encryption software. This encodes your information so it’s unreadable unless the person trying to access your data has the appropriate key. Basically, if your data is encoded and someone does manage to steal it, they won’t be able to understand what they are looking at because it will appear as gibberish. Several of these, including VeraCrypt and AxCrypt, are free, but it’s a good idea to check them out and upgrade if you can to the stronger encryption offered on the premium versions. Other versions of this software also include versions that will encrypt portable hard drives and USB thumb drives. This is especially helpful since you are probably more likely to lose one of these because of their size.

3. Use VPN when using public Wi-Fi

Finally, it is also possible to encrypt your web traffic. This isn’t necessarily a protection if your computer is stolen, but it is something you need to boost your security.  This may seem unnecessary if your home or office Wi-Fi is already encrypted, but if you use public Wi-Fi networks you have to remember that many of these are not encrypted. Using a hotel network can leave you open to hackers as well. A good investment is a VPN (virtual private network) that provides an extra layer of security when you are on the Internet.

Hacks are becoming a way of life that many people are, unfortunately, getting used to. But you cannot allow yourself to become complacent when it comes to Internet security. By taking the time to encrypt your computer’s data, you are going the extra mile to help ensure that you are not targeted by hackers.

New Edge Technology Solutions is passionate about delivering the best IT services to its clients, at the best price. We are constantly evaluating, testing, and supporting the latest technologies available so our team and our clients can stay ahead of the game. Contact us for help with your IT security needs.