Debbie Mayo-Smith 's Opinion

A motivational speaker gives her tips on business success

Debbie Mayo-Smith: Deleted. Hacked. Four simple at home preventative methods

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Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

1 & 2. Protection

I'm going to skim over the first two very, very self-evident must do's which is get a Firewall and Anti-virus protection. Of course when you boot up in the morning - you don't open your emails until you get that lovely little notice that you've been updated to the latest version of the antivirus software.

Additionally it's needless to mention (but I will) that you simply don't click on any Dear you's or other suspicious emails and anything that might be from your bank (and you know they don't email you in the first place) you go to your menu and select view header - you'll see the email didn't originate from Westpac, ASB or wherever!

Now let's move on.

3. Passwords

If you are like me, you have a hard time remembering your multitude of passwords; and don't want to give Facebook any further power by signing in to other websites and apps via your Facebook account.

My husband is continually remonstrating with me about using such simple or repetitive ones and the danger of doing so. The danger is the plethora of hackers online and the ease of having your identity and passwords stolen.

While sitting in a conference this past week in Adelaide for Conveyancers, one of the speakers - Alastair MacGibbon, CEO Centre for internet Safety offered a great tip on setting passwords (which he also suggested you change your password as often as your underwear)

Setting hard to crack passwords

1. First pick a phrase you'll remember. Such as bigbrownfox.

2. Next substitute some of the letters for numbers or symbols and capitols. Such as B1gBr0wnF0x (with one's for I's and zeros for o).

3. End it with the site you're on. So your NZ herald password would be B1gBr0wnF0xNZH. For LinkedIn it might be b1gbr0wNF0xLi

4. Data and Programs

I'll never forget, many years ago, when my eldest son Alex had his friend Harry over. The two boys played on the computer while I was in another room, not paying attention. The next day, I tried to open a Word document but nothing was there. I tried again in Excel - same thing. 'Oh my Goodness!' I said, panicking. Plus a whole lot more. One of the other kids walked in the room to see why mom was making such a commotion. Daniel (one of the twins said very matter of factly 'Harry deleted files yesterday".

Needless to say, Harry was indefinitely banned from our house. That little angel deleted everything (yes I checked the recycle bin); All the programs, all the files, everything. Not maliciously. I'm sure not even knowing what he did, but he definitely did not ask.

Don't let disaster strike. Backing up is easier than ever before. Here are a few simple ideas.

1. Buy an external hard drive that plugs in through a USB port are easy, and not more than around $100-$300.

Every week or two, back up your files, or just the most recent files. Please, save the copy somewhere else.

2. Windows has it built in. Go to Start menu > Control Panel >Backup and restore.

3. Additional to your external hard drive back up, use Cloud software. I save every important document I create - to either Dropbox www.dropbox.com or my Microsoft Onedrive account www.onedrive.com. Think of these free sites as free memory sticks or backups in the air.

4. I also have a Gmail account that picks up all my normal domain (successis.co.nz) business emails. This is a convenience and back up method. I have emails online dating back to 2008.

Written by Debbie Mayo-Smith, One of New Zealand's most in-demand speakers, trainers and bestselling authors. Debbie works with companies that want more effective staff. For more tips and business ideas sign up for her free monthly newsletter.

Debbie Mayo-Smith

A motivational speaker gives her tips on business success

Debbie is one of the most in-demand speakers in Australasia; in the top 7pc of speakers globally and well-loved for her practical, plain talking technology quick tips. A best-selling author of sixteen books, Debbie has sharpened the activity of over 1 million individuals around the world through her presentations, training, newsletters, books and videos.

Read more by Debbie Mayo-Smith

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