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The Resource Center Online Security Issues & Protection | article

Backup your documents while preventing theft of identity

A recent National Cyber Security Alliance survey found that more than 68 percent of Americans store more than a quarter of their photographs digitally. That’s not all that people in the United States keep on their hard drives, as businesses and individuals alike rely on computers to do everything from file taxes to organize receipts. That is why it is extremely important that individuals do all they can to make sure this information doesn’t get lost. But when backing up your sensitive digital data, you need to make sure it doesn’t get lost and result in theft of identity.

  • CDs, DVDs and flash drives – These are the best kind of hardware for small amounts of media like a photo album, family vacation video and collection of music, though space is often limited.
  • External hard drive – These devices usually plug right into your computer via the USB port and can, in some cases, double the amount of space you have to store all of your files and documents. If you use these backup devices, however, you have to be sure to keep them in a safe space where they won’t be compromised and used for theft of identity.
  • Online backup services – You can also keep things in “the cloud” or use programs like Dropbox so that your files will be easily accessible from any location via an internet connection. This is convenient for individuals who travel a lot or who don’t have a computer at home they use on a regular basis. However, whenever you use a public wireless connection or a shared network, you run the risk of theft of identity because others on the network may be able to see what you are doing and therefore steal your passwords.