Some of this advice is obvious, but some may be new ideas that you haven't heard of. Take a look and make sure you protect your data.

Set-up a remote backup

Cloud, remote or online backup, don't rely simply on an external hard drive or backup server. Decide which are your mission critical files and research a variety of online backup solutions. Download their software and setup incremental or daily backups of your most important files. If your building burns down, you won't have lost everything - at least your business data will be safe! Most importantly though - test your backups regularly. Click here to take a look at our recommendation.

Backup to an external drive

Obvious really, but how many people simply leave their external backup on top of their desk or processor? If the computer is stolen, you can bet the external hard drive will be! Use a long cable to hide the external drive. Thieves are likely to simply unplug everything and do a runner - hopefully leaving your external backup behind.

Maintain your antivirus and do not rely on free downloads

We all have it and it should automatically update - but is it? Many of us have opted for free downloadable versions. Often these do not check SPAM messages, anti-adware and spyware. It is worth purchasing decent antivirus protection, not relying on free downloads. If you get infected, the only real solution is to format the disk and start again - costly and time consuming, especially if you do not have your OS or applications any more!

Use a device location tool

At a simple level, download free remote access software to your machine, such as You can access your computer anywhere providing it has an internet connection. Quite useful if you are looking for the location of a stolen machine!

Secure your browser passwords

Data that you send over a wireless network is even more subject to interception than that sent over an Ethernet network. Hackers don't need physical access to the network or its devices; anyone with a wireless-enabled portable computer and a high gain antenna can capture data and/or get into the network and access data stored there if the wireless access point isn't configured securely. You should send or store data only on wireless networks that use encryption, preferably Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), which is stronger than Wired Equivalent Protocol (WEP).

Secure wireless transmissions

So the client can be sure that we have recovered their mission critical data, we provide a file listing of all the recoverable files. This is usually accessed remotely from a link that we email. However we can also email listings as a .txt file attachment if preferred. At this stage we do ask that the client checks carefully and lists their important data for physical testing and verification.

Do not open unknown message attachments

Most malware requires the user to complete an action before they can become infected. The most common route is clicking on an email attachment; however innocent it may look. Use the preview mode in your email client before opening any email text and delete anything suspicious. Even if you open the email message, do not click on the attachment unless you know it is safe. Email messages from Companies House, HMRC, Banks etc are more often than not vehicles for malware!