Olga Danilova
Olga Danilova Olga is a security&privacy consultant with a broad international experience. She is an author and trainer in different subjects. Her passion for cyber security keeps on growing and she is now specializing in risk management, vendor security assessment and security education among other things.

Spring cleaning part 3: keep your “digital home” safe and clean

Spring cleaning part 3: keep your “digital home” safe and clean

In the first installment of the spring cleaning series, we touched upon your digital footprint and how to protect your access. With this 3rd part of the spring cleaning series, we are finishing our cyber clean-up.

After checking our access methods and security status of our systems and applications, we should check our internet connections.

At home we rely on our internet providers. Even if you don’t want to dive deep in all security options, it is good to set up a guest Wi-Fi and provide separate bandwidth for your guests. So they don’t interfere with your home devices. Make sure to use a good password for both your personal and guest Wi-Fi network.

When you need to use public Wi-Fi, consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) – a “private tunnel” that connect you to secure VPN server. Think about secure and reliable VPNs with a good reputation like: 

  • NordVPN
  • Proton VPN

And what about your data on your devices? You can employ full-disk encryption or opt for app and file encryption. In first case, you encrypt your devices such as laptops, tablets, external hard drives or smartphones. In the second case, you encrypt only a subset of the information. There are quite a few encryption tools like:

  • Microsoft Encrypting File System (EFS)
  • Microsoft BitLocker
  • Apple FileVault
  • VeraCrypt

Encryption aside, you definitely need to ensure your data is backed up. You must not want to lose all your photos, as my uncle did when his computer was hit by a ransomware. Get a backup on an external hard disk. You can also use a cloud backup, but don‘t forget to verify the privacy conditions first. If you would like to be in a control from a privacy point of view, encrypt your files before uploading them. 

Let’s summarize.

Checklist: Spring Cleaning

  • Digital footprint
  • Passwords/passphrases
  • Password managers
  • MFA
  • OS and Apps updates and security features
  • Internet connections and VPN
  • Devices/folders/app encryptions
  • Backups

All steps are in place? Good. Nobody can promise you 100% security, but at least you have your “digital house” checked and you are ready for the storm.