College is supposed to be one of the best times in a person’s life. It’s exhilarating as first time students get ready to leave with nerves of meeting people and finding the proper classrooms, while returning students can’t wait to see their friends and visit favored local establishments. With all the excitement, it is easy for students to forget to safely secure digital media, valuables and irreplaceable items.
The preservation and protection of digital assets should be top-of-mind for all college students, especially with the technology and information boom and the increased availability and affordability of computers. For a college student, a computer crash or mishap can be costly, both monetarily and emotionally. In fact, 98 percent of college students have access to the Internet and more than 88 percent use the Internet on a regular monthly basis, downloading music, class files, videos, family photos, and more. It is important that this information is protected. For most, their only means of backup is the hard drive that is built into their computer or hardware system.
“College students are creating knowledge and intellectual capital as well as learning the ins and outs of the world, outside of their parents’ home,” said John Sileo, author of the award-winning book, Stolen Lives: Identity Theft Prevention Made Simple and America’s top identity theft speaker. “It is devastating and costly when that hard work and knowledge is stolen or lost.”
In addition to protecting digital media assets, college students must also consider the personal information that is kept in some of those data files.
“College-aged adults are learning so much as they leave the safety of their parents and home for the first time in their life that we must take responsibility to give them the tools and knowledge necessary to protect and safely secure their vital data from identity theft and computer crashes,” continued Sileo. “Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America and as much as 30 percent of identity theft is committed within the college age bracket. In the information economy, we have to remember that it is the information itself, in this case the student’s identity, which carries most of the value. ”
When learning about protecting digital media, it is essential to consider the password protection and data management system that can aid in securing a student’s vital information including medical records, passports, social security cards, tax forms, banking information and more.
At SentrySafe, the world’s leader in security storage containers, we are committed to providing consumers with a broad range of safe types, sizes and protection levels to meet their individualized needs – always keeping consumer’s security and safety in mind. SentrySafe offers many solutions to fit consumer’s security requirements, including one of the most critical and timely safety needs ¾ protecting ones digital media from fire, and water disasters. With the help of our research and development team, we are aware of trends, data and statistics regarding crimes, fires, floods, and computer crashes that often times destroy vital documents and valuables or make them vulnerable to theft or robbery.
Today more and more people are backing up digital files, photos and data stored on their computers ¾ for some people their entire life is saved on their hard drive. In 2007 alone, more than $1 billion was spent buying music over the Internet, and more than 42 percent of the college-aged are downloading music to their computers. For students, backing up data can save writing assignments, term papers, photos, vital files and music from disaster. Students must be aware of the chance of hard drive failure and the possibility of a dorm room or house fire or even a flood that may strike when they least expect it. Finally, they need to protect their laptops from being stolen or misused by a roommate, classmate or other visitor to their dorm room or apartment.
Proper planning and preparing is vital. If students follow these tips then they will have a greater chance of securely storing and backing up their digital data and personal files.
- Identify and decide which data cannot be lost under any circumstances. Copy valuable files and data onto jump drives, DVD-R or CD-R discs or removable disk drives that connect to systems via their USB port.
- Students must routinely back-up their data at least every week.
- Students should also consider storing their valuable data and files on a hard drive that is disaster proof. This way if there is ever a flood, fire or computer crash, important data will be protected. This past spring, SentrySafe launched its second-generation 250GB FIRE-SAFE/Waterproof Hard Drive, perfect for backing up data and documents protecting it from potential fire and water damage.
- Use a scanner to make digital copies of important term papers and personal documents, including birth certificates, car loans, social security cards, tax forms, etc. Save them as PDF files and copy them to a folder on your fire-resistant, waterproof external hard drive.
- Protect all portable data devices (laptops, BlackBerrys, iPhones, hard drives, thumb drives, etc.) from theft by locking them in a fire-resistant/waterproof safe or locking filing cabinet.
For more information on this article or SentrySafe products, please visit http://www.sentrysafe.com/.