Since photography has attached itself to computer technology, photographers have had to adapt to a changing world. With always connected Internet,
We have to be sure we are protected from nefarious websites and individuals.
We have to remember a plethora of passwords.
We have to find back-up plan that works for each individual photographer.
What is YOUR security plan?
Don’t tell me you don’t have one?
Let's look at each of these in detail:
How do you protect yourself from individuals and websites that are attempting to harm your technology? A number of things come to mind.
- Using a VPN. What's a VPN? You may ask? It's a private network that masks your IP address. Why is this important? When you're on an unsecured wireless network, anyone can see what you're doing on THAT network. If they can see what you're doing, they can also access your device. That can be dangerous because they can plant programs without your knowledge, they can intercept private files that contain information that you don't want anyone else to have such as bank account numbers, passwords or other valuable information. A VPN masks your IP address, channeling it through one of their own IP’s. For more information on VPNs here's a CNet article on the best VPNs of 2018.
- Virus Protection. Of course we all have to be concerned with computer viruses and malware. Norton is the big fish as it has been around for years.
- Using a Password Generator. Remembering a whole host of passwords is getting more challenging by the day. To alliviate this, many of us reuse the same password on multiple websites. While convenient, this WILL eventually lead to bigger problems. When you use a password generator, you only have to remember ONE password to access the generator you decide to use. This is a whole lot more secure than using the same password on multiple websites. I highly recommend that you start doing so. There are plenty of choices. Search: Password Generator online and you'll see all the options. I've been using LastPass for sometime now and it works for me. You may settle on a different program, but you SHOULD consider it. You'll never have to remember hundreds of passwords again.
- Back-up Plan. For everyone, not just photographers we should all be backing up our files at multiple locations. Several years ago when I was still in school, I lost my ENTIRE hard drive. This was at a time when I built Windows PCs. So I fortunately had not only knowledge of how to fix the computer, I also had enough of my files backed up. It took me a weekend to install a new hard drive and get all of my pertinent files on the new drive. I was back in business by late Sunday night. Many of us don't bother with a back up plan and that is courting disaster. Especially for photographers who count on their image files as their livelihood. What is your plan? Here's what I do as a point of reference. I have an online back-up program called: Backblaze. I upload high resolution images to my photography website and I have an external hard drive where I keep my photography files and my music files. I don't keep ANYTHING on my computer's internal hard drive. Everything is kept on the external drive. That way when I have to eventually replace the computer I have nothing to wipe. I simply plug in my existing external hard drive to the new computer and I'm up and running.
These things work for me. We all have our own way of operating. We should ALL be cognizant of the security challenges that exist today and take measures to prevent disaster. If you're not using some of these options, I highly recommend that you start doing so.
In the meantime:
Focus on what's ahead of you.