Alert Africa | Protect your data



 Cyber Security Tip #8 – Protect your data

Back-up and protect your valuable data.

Quick Tips

 Quick Tips 

Back-up your most valuable information first (e.g. Documents, family pictures)

Do not keep your back up drive (“External Hard drive”) close to your computer when you are not using it.

Encrypt your hard drive Back up valuable information to reputable cloud storage providers (e.g. Dropbox)


Paper documents that may contain personal information.

Old credit and loyalty cards.

CDs that may contain personal information.

Delete emails that contain personal information.

Remember to “Empty” the Recycle Bin (Windows) or Trash (Mac)

Password protect ALL your devices

Getting Hands On


 Manually Creating a Backup 

Things you’ll need: Storage media (e.g. External Hard drives, DVD’s, USB’s)

Select the files to back up (Documents, Pictures, Music and Videos)

Copy the selected files to your Storage Media.


 Automatically Creating a Backup  

Things you’ll need:  Storage media (e.g. External Hard drives, DVD’s, USB’s)

Open the backup program of your choice (some examples given below).

Follow instructions or prompts.

NOTE: Do not store your backups on the same device that you need to backup.

 Distribute back-ups 

Don’t keep back up drives in your laptop bag or next to your computer.

Back-up critical (most valued) information to trusted Cloud services like Dropbox or Google Drive

Duplicate critical backups to USB’s or DVD’s and store safely elsewhere.

 Properly Dispose of Hard drives you no longer need 

Wipe a hard drive (Formatting does not always wipe a drive)

Physically destroy the hard drive (For example, with a hammer)

 Password Protect Devices 

For instructions on how to set a password for Windows visit

Set a lock pattern or pin on your mobile devices (including your phones). This can be typically set on the mobile device’s settings menu under security settings.

Useful Applications.



Commercial Carbon Copy Cloner: (Apple)

Genie Backup Manager 9: (Windows)

Nova BACKUP Professional 15: (Windows)

 Freely Available  

Identity Safe: (Windows, Apple, Android)

Last Pass: (Windows, Apple, Android)

KeePass: (Windows, Apple, Android)



SugarSync: (Windows, Apple, Android)

  Freely Available  



The service providers below offer an initial quota of free storage, with additional space available on subscription basis

Dropbox: (2GB Storage Free) (Windows, Apple, Android, Linux)

Google Drive: (15GB Storage Free) (If you have a Gmail account you already have Google Drive.) (Windows, Apple, Android)

Microsoft One Drive: (7GB Storage Free) (Can link to your Microsoft account if you have one, if not signing up will create one.) (Windows, Apple, Android)

Spider Oak: (2GB Storage Free) (Spider Oak Encrypts your data on the fly to ensure your privacy)(Windows, Apple, Android, Linux)

Why Should I Care?

The following can happen if you do not adequately protect your data on all your devices:

 Personal Impact  

All your personal information can be stolen and misused as follows:

Your identity can be stolen.

Your personal information can be stolen.

Your social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter etc) can be compromised.

You may suffer reputational damage should hackers post unsavoury content to hacked accounts.

Your bank accounts could be compromised and money stolen.

Criminals may gain access to all information in your email accounts. They may also attempt to illicit further information or money from your contacts.

You could fall for scams that end up costing you money or endanger your family.

Your credit record can be damaged.

Accounts can be opened in your name without your knowledge.

Your email inbox could be flooded with unwanted emails. (Spam)

 Data Security  

Data Security Devices that get stolen or misplaced risk having their data compromised. There are many incidents that could result in you losing some or all of your valuable data.