No matter who you are, if you have a computer, it stands to reason that your computer files are intensely valuable.
These are the files that contain private information, personal work, office work, phone numbers, browser history, essential programs, and so much more. It is not necessarily an exaggeration to say that your computer files mean the world to you, and are a huge part of your life.
As such, doesn’t it make sense to want to do everything possible to protect these computer files?
How To Protect Your Computer Files
Think of the files on your computer as the appliances and furniture that make up a home. And when you have appliances and furniture that go through a lot of use during the days, weeks, months, and years, you have things that need consistent care.
In the end, learning how to protect computer files simply comes down to maintenance and consistency: Perform maintenance tasks such as wiping, cleaning, and organizing, and do this consistently, and you should be fine.
However, there are a few other things you can do, in order to keep your files safe:
- Make sure you take out the trash on a regular basis: Keeping that “your computer is like your home” analogy, junk files can clog up your computer, slow down performance, and lead to a host of mild-to-serious problems later on. Getting rid of these junk files on a regular basis will ensure your main files remain safe.
- Protect your private data: One of the best ways to take care of your computer files is to make sure your privacy is being safeguarded at all times. Making sure your activities and private pieces of information are regularly removed from your computer will keep your most valuable files from falling into the wrong hands.
- Keep your files organized: A smart way to keep your files organized is to make sure broken shortcuts to certain files/programs are restored, with the ones you just don’t need to use anymore being erased from the system.
- Don’t let duplicates clog up the system: When you consider how many duplicate files are on your system, it’s easy to be surprised. Don’t let too many of your files have unneeded duplicates all over the place. Delete the stuff you just don’t need.
- Make sure the files you delete are actually deleted: Just because you moved something to the recycling bin, that doesn’t mean the file is actually gone from your system. Seek out and utilize programs that allow you to remove private information from your computer for good.
Protecting Your Files
Seek out a good cleanup tool for your computer. These can help you to stay organized and as free of bugs/unnecessary files as possible. Even if you don’t know the first thing about protecting your computer files, there are programs available that understand this, and will do everything possible to keep your computer running at optimal levels of performance.
The files on your computer don’t have the be the kind of thing you only appreciate when they have been compromised.
File sharing is necessary for individuals and businesses. New technologies are constantly being made to make file sharing increasingly convenient for all users with cloud storage systems. A popular cloud storage system is Box. Although anyone can sign up for a free individual account on Box, it is primarily meant for business users, allowing employees and large companies to share their document in a secure manner.
Learn more about Box and its file sharing capabilities.
Box has several features that makes it ideal for file sharing. Here are a few.
Cloud Storage. Like any other cloud storage setup, you can store almost any type of file within Box’s system. Individuals start with 10GB for free for secure online storage. All files will be synced across all devices.
Mobile Apps. Access your files on-the-go without unnecessary email attachments with apps on your iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone, and Blackberry, as well as the Box mobile site. You can even save your files for offline access for times when you know that you will not have an Internet connection.
File Sharing. Box allows for easy online collaboration. You can turn folders into collaborative workspaces by inviting others to view edit, and upload different files. Content can instantly be shared with anyone you wish with a shared link as well. This way, you can collaborate with real-time updates. Up to 20 people can work on the same document at the same time.
Collaborative Features. Box also helps you to collaborate better by enabling you to take notes with Box Notes, create project plans, and collect status updates. Post comments and assign different tasks around the files. Use Box to request client approval of files. You can also keep assignments on track with set due dates and integrate Google calendar to help keep everyone on the right path.
Using Box Business
Box Business is an upgrade from your normal Box account. This is the option that most businesses choose. Here are a few reasons why businesses enjoy working with Box Business today.
Secure File Sharing. With email and other methods of file sharing, information can quickly be compromised without difficulty. Box allows easy and secure file sharing with anyone you wish, even if they are beyond your firewall. Share your files with anyone you want, regardless of the device they use, in a secure manner.
Great Control. Companies often have confidential documents. With the permissions and reporting features from Box, you can control every document in your business. Box features granular permissions, allowing you to choose from seven different types of permission. This will allow you to control who has access to which documents. Users can be kept on a need to know basis with email uploading, content automation, and security policies. Scheduled file deletion and link deactivation will make sure that outdated files are eliminated when desired.
Full Visibility. See exactly what is going on when someone transfers, accesses, or edits any of the files. See what is happening by viewing file and user activity in real-time. With instant file activity alerts, you can also see what is happening to important files at all times. Box also provides detailed file and user reports for administrators.
Automate Processes and Workflows. Through the Admin Console, you can create simplistic rules that will automate certain tasks, such as invoice and marketing approvals. Multiple rules can be combined into a single process. This will allow repeated tasks to become more effective and provide alerts whenever something unexpected occurs.
Box Business can be used with a fee of $15 per user per month. Find out more about the features on the Box official website.
Online file hosting is a debated topic. There are those who claim that hosting files online is a bastion for the evasion of copyrights, but that is not the focus of this article. This isn’t about the morality or legality of hosting files online for the purpose of sharing. This article is about some popular options available to people who want to share larger files or many small files over the internet. Email isn’t always the most convenient or well-suited option for sharing large files or lots of little ones online. If you want to host a file that is not necessarily aimed at only the people in your contacts, online file sharing sites may offer a solution. The following are some popular or well-reviewed file sharing sites that allow users to share files.
4shared is the largest file sharing site in English. It serves 2.5 billion page views a month. With 4shared, users get 5GB of free file hosting for free. Users can opt for a premium membership that will up their storage to 100GB and allow them to skip ads on the site prior to downloading files. The process of sharing is as simple as using drag-and-drop. One thing to be mindful of here is that all uploaded files are searchable. So, if you want to share something that isn’t private, 4shared may be a fir for your file hosting needs. This service also has a mobile version for easy access to (your) files from mobile devices.
Mediafire offers 50GB of file hosting for free. This service is also offered in desktop and mobile versions. This service is tailored to fit the needs of people who want to share via social media, making it the natural choice for those who will be doing most of their sharing via social networking sites.
Mega.co is a good choice for users who value the security of their hosted files. This one is a little less open to the prying eyes of the public. Mega.co takes privacy seriously, and claims that all data is encrypted and decrypted by your client, and never by them. Users control the keys to their files, and can even setup access for people in their contacts to use Mega.co for real time folder updates for collaboration. Free membership grants 50GB of online file hosting, and plans are available for up to 4TB.
Minus is the new kid on the file sharing block. Instead of being designed to distribute large files, Minus seems to be geared toward social media users who might want a way to quickly snag and share a lot of small files. Free accounts are capped at 10GB free file hosting storage, with a 1GB max file size. This service definitely seems geared toward Pinterest or Tumblr style social sharing, and doesn’t present any features that would suggest that it is designed for professional use. Minus has extensions available for Firefox and Chrome that allow for the quick uploading of images and content. Sharing is then done by manually posting a link to your uploaded content.
There are millions of individuals and business that use machines running the operating system referred to as Windows. The computer files used by this operating system can have many different file extensions. A file extension is the letters that appear after the name of the file, such as “.doc” or “.au”, for example. The following is a brief guide to understanding what some of the more common computer files are and what their extensions indicate.
Document Processing Computer Files
.RTF Stands for Rich Text Format and it one of the most basic of word processing programs that is standard in all Windows.
.TXT The most basic of text based files in the Windows operating system. These files are usually created by the Notepad program that allows for no special formatting and is purely plain text.
.DOC Is the basic extension used for any file that originated from, or was saved as a MS Word document. There are many freeware word processing programs that allows users to save computer files with different extensions.
.PDF This is a very common extension that is most associated with Adobe Acrobat. It stands for portable document format, and can be used with basic text files, forms, and even slide shows.
Media Computer Files
.MP3 These electronic sound files are compressed for ease of use and formatting. They are one of the most popular forms of computer sound files today.
.MP4 Similar to other MP files, these contain both audio and visual information and are considered multimedia. Many of the videos that are streamed online are .MP4 files.
.AU These are basic audio files. If you are trying to listen to an audio file from a MAC or Apple machine, than you would need to give it the file extension of “.AU” in order for Windows to recognize it as an audio file and use the correct program to open it.
.EXE Computer files that end with this extension are also called “executable” files, which is what the abbreviation stands for. When launching a program, you are either clicking directly on its executable file, or a link to the executable file.
.ZIP This is a rather common type of extension and it stands for a computer file or group of files that has been compressed down into an archive. There are several programs that can be used to “unzip” the file/files.
Exploring Different Extensions
While the list is very brief, and there are hundreds of potential file extensions between the different operating systems, there is always a way to file out more about an extension. All operating systems allow you to access the internet and search for specifics about computer files, including what program can be used to open it. In Windows for example, if you are unsure what program will work for a file, you can right click on the file and select “Open As”. This brings up both a list, and a link to an online search for that extension within the Microsoft database.
If you are part of the Baby Boomer generation, you remember the time when there was no Internet, no World Wide Web, no Microsoft, no AOL, no Amazon, no Facebook – but mostly there was no cyber-danger. No one had to worry about getting hacked, stalked, bullied, defrauded, or phished online. Ah, those were the good ol’ days.
In the mid-1960’s, things started to change. Unbeknownst to many, in 1969 the Department of Defense deployed what would become known as the Internet. By the end of the 1970’s big business was starting to get a toehold. But with the advent of the personal computer in the mid-1980’s, a whole new world was opened up to the Ordinary Man. Large networks were established. Browsers were introduced, leading to the development of the World Wide Web. For some of us seniors, everything has been a blur since then. Now you can buy insurance, check baseball scores, order pizza, and learn how to make soufflé online, all with a few simple clicks. Life is good. Right?
For some seniors, maybe not so much. Used to – and happy with – slower, quieter times, many of the older generation bristle at the idea of having to use a computer. Admittedly, change can be difficult. And you may feel like an analog person in a digital world. But whether you believe computers can make your life easier or not, learning how to use one is essential just to get by today, and getting good at it can actually increase your quality of life. That being said, there are some cautions that seniors need to be aware of when venturing out into the cyber-world.
Why seniors are at risk
With the development of any new technology, there will always be those who misuse it, even to the point where it becomes criminal activity. All of us are susceptible to cyber-crime, but seniors are even more vulnerable. Why? For one thing, those of the older generation lack the computer skills and Internet savvy to ensure that they are protected at all times. In addition, Baby Boomers are less cynical and more trusting that the younger generations. Therefore, we are an easier target for financial scammers, con artists, and identity thieves. And we have been trained to be savers, so many of us have a nice little nest egg, one that can be a lot more easily lost to cyber-crime than to bank robbery. So why purposely subject yourself to such threats? Because Internet security has become increasingly tighter in recent years, and by following a few simple tips and guidelines, one can have a relatively enjoyable and stress-free life online.
Make sure your computer is secure
Check all the programs that you are running and ensure that you have the latest versions and drivers. Having a firewall installed is essential to proper Internet security. Just like working behind the locked doors of your house, you decide what goes into and out of your computer. In addition, a good antivirus program will prevent even the most virulent malicious programs (viruses) from entering your domain. Your computer and all sites that involve money or personal information should be protected with strong passwords. If you feel any of these things are just too difficult for you to figure out, ask your grandkids for help.
Don’t be so trusting
If your sister called you up and said that she found this great new product, you would be pretty safe in assuming that it really is your sister on the other end of the line and that what she found is at least worth looking in to. Not so in the cyber-world. Anyone can claim to be anyone. If you are contacted, particularly by email, don’t assume they are who they say they are. Don’t open attachments, spam emails, or communications from someone you don’t know. A common spamming technique now is to send out broadcast emails in the name of someone you do know. You can usually recognize from the subject line or the preview that they are not who they claim. When on a website, even a reputable one, don’t be distracted by the ads. Don’t click through to check out quizzes, “free” offers, miraculous weight-loss pills, or expiring-deal banners. Often times these can extract personal information or sign you up for unwanted monthly services. Mainly, just use common sense.
Keep yourself informed
Stay up to date on common Internet scams, software updates, and new Internet security measures. Technology does not have to be scary. But, just like everyone else, seniors fear what they do not know. The more familiar you become cyber-life, the easier, more interesting, and even enjoyable real life can be.
Don’t give out personal info
Don’t open or join or click banners
Nothing is free
Use strong passwords
File transfers with emails and clunky hardware is an inconvenience that most prefer not to deal with any longer. Now, many file transfers are done with the help of cloud storage systems instead. A popular cloud storage favorite is Dropbox.
Learn how to use Dropbox for either personal or business use today.
Dropbox has several different types of features. Here are a few.
File Storage. Your files can be uploaded and stored in the cloud, allowing you to access them at any time from Dropbox’s official website, desktop applications for Windows, Mac, and Linux, or mobile apps for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Kindle Fire devices. All file types can be stored through Dropbox.
Decent Storage Space. You have 2GB of free storage space when you sign up, with opportunities to earn storage space by using different features and having successful referrals. For each friend you refer that signs up for the service, you can earn 500MB. The total amount you can earn is up to 16GB in total with 32 referrals.
Automatic Synchronization. All files are automatically synced across all of your devices, allowing you to access your files from anywhere you wish.
No Upload Size Limit. Unlike other cloud systems, Dropbox does not have an upload size limit. However, larger files will take longer to upload depending on the speed of your connection.
File Sharing. You can easily share your files and folders with others by creating a folder and sharing it. You can work on the same files as your team members without any hassle, no matter if you are a student completing a group project or a team member within a business.
Applications for Productivity. Dropbox comes with an assortment of applications that live within the system.
Great on Every Device. One of Dropbox’s greatest strengths is that it performs equally across different platforms, including PCs. Macs, Androids, and iOS devices. Desktop applications work perfectly as well.
Using Dropbox for Business
Many companies are now opting to use Dropbox for Business for their work as well. Here is why.
Works with All Apps. Dropbox for Business already works with all of the apps your business team uses, including Word, Excel, Photoshop, Acrobat, and more.
Less Training for More Productivity. With clunky servers, faulty storage systems, and inconvenient email attachments, businesses lose valuable time and experience decreases in productivity. With Dropbox, you can easily get your team on the same system. Dropbox is easy enough to work that you do not need excessive training. This way, team members can perform common collaboration tasks without bothering IT. Less training and troubleshooting allows for higher productivity levels.
Unlimited Deletion Recovery. There is nothing worse than losing files, but Dropbox allows you to recover any files that you may have lost. You do not have to worry about redoing any past work any longer.
Full Visibility and Transparency. You can easily watch what is going on with sharing with the complete audit log that Dropbox provides. Watch what files go through the system, who’s sharing it, and who is receiving everything. You can easily control access and restrict access to unwanted users. A remote wipe will allow you to secure data if you lose any devices.
Strong Security. Company information needs to remain secure. Dropbox for Business makes sure to use strong encryption for all file data in transit as well as at rest. File segmentation and hashing allows you to anonymize files as well. Dropbox undergoes regular ISO27001 and Service Organization Control (SOC) audits. These reports are always available for review as well. Accounts can further be secured with authentication features including single sign-on (SSO) and two-step verification if wanted.
Businesses that are interested can easily join with a fee of $15 per user per month.
Now is the right time to tighten up Internet security. When you do so, you’ll enjoy greater peace of mind as you surf the World Wide Web. While it may be too late to undo past indiscretions, such as posting everything about your life to a public Facebook feed that the entire universe can see, it is possible to “put good credit after bad”.
By being more careful in the future and following our other Internet security tips, you’ll be able to minimize threats, such as the risk of identity theft or cyberbullying.
Without further ado, let’s look at some smart and practical ways to improve Internet security…
5.) Stop Posting Publicly – Your social media profiles should always be set to private. This means that only your friends or followers should be able to see what you post. The only exception would be entrepreneurs who are promoting goods, services or talents online.
In this case of these entrepreneurs, posts on social media may be public. However, it’s important to post carefully, under a business name if possible, and to avoid giving out any personal details.
4.) Avoid Computer Viruses – Computer viruses have the power to slow down your PC and to infiltrate (and potentially wipe out) your documents. For this reason, it’s important to protect yourself from these threats by using anti-virus software.
Norton makes a great software program of this type and so do a range of other software manufacturers. You may need to buy two programs – one which guards against computer viruses and one which guards against malware. When you double up with the right software, you’ll access a high level of protection which supports premium Internet security.
3.) Strengthen Your Passwords – Your passwords may be hacked. The easier they are to figure out, the higher the risk. Therefore, you should go through all of your Internet passwords and ensure that they are strengthened. Do so by adding numbers and capital letters. In addition, consider changing your passwords completely, while also adding numbers and capital letters.
By changing it up and creating very strong passwords which you’ve never used before, anywhere online, you’ll dramatically beef up Internet security.
2.) Be Careful Who You Trust – In addition to setting social media profiles to private, you should vet people carefully before interacting with them online. For example, if you don’t know someone personally and they’ve sent you a Facebook friend request, consider keeping that person out of your inner circle. Strangers have different reasons for wanting to make contact online – some are on the level and have a genuine interest in you as a person. However, others may be creeps or identity thieves. By interacting only with those you know and trust, you’ll boost security online. If you’re female, you should be particularly wary of inviting predators into your midst – however, both genders need to watch for this.
Better safe than sorry, right?
1.) Avoid Sketchy Websites – Some websites just don’t have the right features. In other words, they appear a bit sketchy. To stay safe online, avoid registering at sketchy websites. Instead, focus your registrations on authority websites which are known to be reputable.
For example, if you want adult entertainment online, you’re better off subscribing at the Playboy website, versus some unknown website which features sexy pics. In general, the world’s biggest, most well-known websites will offer encryption services which are designed to code and protect all of your personal and financial details. Sketchy websites probably won’t offer this sort of secure registration/secure shopping experience.
Better Internet Security is Possible
As you can see, it is possible to access improved Internet security, without investing a lot of time, energy and money. It’s all about diligence and our tips are designed to help you create the perfect Internet security plan.
When you follow all five tips, you’ll be primed to surf the Web in a more anonymous fashion. While there will always be the risk of security threats, you’ll minimize the risk and this is really all that you can do.
If you do have money to invest in Internet security, consider signing up for an online program which is designed to protect you from identity theft. There are many online systems of this type and some of them do offer an excellent level of protection. In general, these programs work by monitoring online activity which pertains to your bank accounts, email Inboxes and social media profiles.
You’ll receive alerts if anyone attempts to breach security. Usually, these programs feature a subscription-based business model, so you’ll pay for this type of service from month to month.
Hopefully, our list of the top five ways to improve Internet security has provided you with valuable insight. Just the act of being conscious of threats may help you to avoid them. So, do think about Internet security before posting on social media, commenting on articles and videos and signing up at websites.
If you or your business offers downloadable content as part of its online repertoire, then you’ve more than likely heard a thing or two about pay-per-download by now. Also known as PPD for short, pay-per-download is a simple way to monetize all of your available digital content. It works just as well for apps and multi-media items as it does for documents and other types of files. Pay-per-download can be used to make you money not only via your own content, but other people’s as well.
How Does Pay Per Download Work?
Different individuals and companies are going to leverage pay-per-download technology in different ways. For instance, one business might charge a user a flat fee for downloading a file. Another might find it more beneficial to allow users to unlock content by performing a specific action. (Popular options include surveys and quizzes.) Still more businesses will utilize some combination of both these options.
PPD can also be used in tandem with affiliate systems. If your company chooses this option, then your affiliate marketers would go to work promoting your downloadable product for you. Every time a successful sale is made, the appropriate affiliate collects a commission. Many entrepreneurs will also leverage PPD affiliate systems to actively earn their own commissions by marketing other people’s downloadable content in turn.
Which PPD Network Is Best for You?
Getting a solid answer to the question “what is pay per download” is half the battle. The other half is making the right network choice. Which one would be your company’s best bet will depend entirely on your individual needs. Consider the following when evaluating each of your options:
- How valuable is your content?
- What type of content are you selling? (Some systems work better for apps, while others work better for plugins, wallpapers, ebooks, et cetera.)
- What are your goals as far as sales and overall reach for your content?
You’ll also want to do a bit of homework on what your direct competition is doing in regards to pay-per-download. It’s more than a little likely that other companies in your niche have tested different options and already hit on what works best. Learn from examining what they do and then look for ways you can get innovative and add your own spin to put you ahead of the game.
Generally speaking though, content-locking methods tend to work best for content that’s less valuable. Go with charging per direct download for higher value items like apps, cutting edge ebooks, and high tech plug-ins. You can also begin by trying both and taking note of which seems to generate more income for your business.
Making a Smart Decision
Last but definitely not least, you’ll want to make sure you look into the details attached to the network you’re considering. A secure payment system is an absolute must, as is a full selection of pricing plans and plenty of features to choose from. The company should have a solid, verifiable reputation for doing good business as well. Explore the possibilities today!
If you’re interested sharing files with friends, family, co-workers, or the world at large, you need to learn about file hosting. File hosting services are known by many different names. They could be referred to as an online file storage provider, or a cyberlocker, or usually as cloud storage. All of these refer to Internet hosting services that allow their users to upload files onto their servers, and then access them in the future from a different computer or other device that can browse the Internet. While some people use file hosting services to back up their own data in order to retrieve it if they suffer a catastrophic loss, others use it to share large amounts of data with others.
When talking about file hosting using cloud storage, the most basic kind lets users upload files directly from a personal computer to a central computer server located elsewhere. This is a very common way to have a backup of your information in case something happens to the hard drive in your computer, or the building that it’s located in. It’s like a virtual safety deposit box where you keep copies of all your important information, photographs, home movies, and other items that would be difficult to replace.
File hosting services offer redundancy. Redundancy refers to safety based on multiple versions of systems. In the case of file sharing, it’s simply multiple versions of your data. Many computer users make backup copies of their information on their own network, which guards against data loss due to a hard drive failure. That’s better than nothing, but if your home is destroyed in a fire, or you computer is stolen, both sets of the information are lost at the same time. By using cloud storage techniques, if either set of data is lost, the other is in a secure, remote location where it can be recovered.
Cloud storage transfers are accessible using HTTP or FTP protocols. HTTP is another name for the application that powers web browsers, and FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol, which requires a separate program in order to transfer information. In general, FTP transfers are faster than HTTP, and more secure.
File hosting has other benefits besides simple backups. If more than one person has access to the files that are stored in the cloud, everyone can get a copy of the files, alter them, and upload them in turn. This is similar to a Lazy Susan turntable that spins to allow diners take what they want as the food passes. There are many software programs that allow documents in the cloud to be altered by any authorized user while the document is updated in real time so that everyone that views it is always looking at it in its most recent version.
Cloud storage networks are easy for users, but they present complex problems for the companies that host them because the information on the cloud servers is distributed among many users. While users need almost instant access to their information, all the information from other file hosting customers must be kept secure on the same servers.
Data sharing, as we have seen, has been made easy through products such as Dropbox, Google Cloud, or Google Drive which one can set up with an existing mail id or profile, or through a newly registered account. All you require is a valid email account through which you can be contacted and additional users can be added to form a group that can synchronously share files over the service.
File storage using personal cloud is something that is understood mostly in the context of individual users because it refers to the stack of files that they can upload to the cloud and then access it on any device, from any location as long as they have a live internet connection.
It is highly customizable because a user can send invites to any number of individuals or other groups and also remove their privileges of sharing certain files and folders according to the user’s discretion. This can be done with a very few simple keystrokes and it will also be possible to access these same files on various other devices such as tablets or smartphones, as long as the file format is supported by this new device. This latter concern should not pose a problem in the contemporary setting where most services such as Windows suite are available on a lot of devices and, if not, suitably compatible alternate file formats can be chosen with a click of the cursor.
The customizability extends to controlling whether other users in the group are allowed to the whole file or only part of it, whether they are allowed make changes to it, and whether they in turn are allowed to share with others. This means you keep absolute control of the span of information being disseminated, and in what manner.
With the amount of user customizability these modern file storage packages offer, it is possible to use various commands, platforms, and applications universally, thus making it highly user friendly and applicable in various industry and business environments.
With many of the privacy and piracy constraints and fears being allayed by use of encryption, password protection, and restriction of the sharing among users through an administrator, the use of personal cloud has revolutionized sharing and accessibility.
Individuals who work remotely while traveling from different business areas and sites, telecommuting employees, and those who need to keep connected to their offsite work teams find that cloud file storage has made working seamlessly a breeze, provided the security of the systems are in place.