In the modern era just about everyone lives in the digital world to some extent. Desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and smart phones are just a few of the many gadgets that infiltrate our daily lives. Our newly found digital lives help us to communicate and exchange information rapidly as well as store mass amounts of information (or digital “memories”) about ourselves. Just as we secure items in our physical world by locking doors, putting valuables in safes and protecting certain types of information by not sharing it with others, the same things need to be done in our digital world.
There are numerous views on security and an infinite number of ways in which to implement measures to protect your digital information. All security starts with the individual and will only be as effective as his/her ability to manage it. Proper security is not static and doesn't consist of some magical piece of software or hardware.
The most overlooked item in implementing sound security is first determining what exactly needs to be secured and then to what extent. There are obvious technical measures that are common standards to follow and then there are the common sense items that many forget to consider.
A review of standard security measures would include using personal firewalls, anti-virus applications, anti-spyware applications and implementing strong passwords. Additional measures might include using intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDS/IPS), physically segmenting your network or using virtual networks, using virtual machines, implementing MAC filtering, and using advanced firewall rules to limit inbound/outbound traffic to name just a few things.
Some of the best security comes from an individual's use of discretion, common sense and limiting exposure of one's digital information and presence. Digital information comes in many categories, from very valuable to unimportant and everything in between. It is up to the individual to determine these categories for their own information and thus what level(s) of security should be applied to various items.
Security is ultimately a unique set of measures that every individual must develop for themselves... but it's okay to ask for help in the process and a little help will be coming in Part II of this security article series.