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  #1  
Old 03-12-2013, 10:48 AM
benhogan's Avatar
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Chapel Hill
Posts: 1,088
Is my computer data safe?

I just noticed last night that my PC has about 5 years of TurboTax data on it. I would like to keep it private.

I currently have Microsoft Security Essentials along with the paid version of Malwarebytes.

I would be open to adding another layer of security but not sure what. Am I ok as it is?

The alternative, I suppose, would be to save the TurboTax data on a portable storage device (cd or flashdrive) and not store anything sensitive on the PC.

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Last edited by benhogan; 03-12-2013 at 11:10 AM.
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  #2  
Old 03-12-2013, 10:54 AM
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: NYC
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Most probably -- and safer than storing it online as a lot of f'en cretins do with confidential tax data.
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  #3  
Old 03-12-2013, 11:20 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Sunny CA
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Secure? Probably, unless you click on unknown links in weird emails.

Safe? Assuredly not. Hard drives fail every hour of every day. It's not a question of "if," but "when."

External "portable" hard drives are affordably suitable as a backup for dynamic data, like pictures, videos, blah, etc. But it's a hard drive, too, and susceptible to failure (even more than an internal drive, since they are often dropped, knocked over, etc., and external shocks are bad news to hard drives).

But static data (like your old turbo tax stuff) is ideal for archiving to optical media, either CD or DVD. Burn it to a high-quality disc, put it in a sleeve, put that in an envelope (to keep it from light) and store it someplace safe/secure.

Good luck.
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  #4  
Old 03-12-2013, 11:28 AM
I miss my MBZ
 
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Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 533
There is a lot to be said for removing that stuff (*anything sensitive*) from your PC- put it on an HD or DVD as above, then copying that backup and storing one off-site (another house, workplace or whatever...)

Computers can be hacked, turned in to "bots" or physically lifted up and removed from your residence (in this last case - no amount of software will keep you safe)
arguably, some hard drive encrytion software would help, but installing and administering that (how fast is this machine again ? wouldnt be worth it - burn 2 DVDs, store one at your parents(?) house (in sleeves, light hurts them over time) and call it a day.

-John
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  #5  
Old 03-12-2013, 12:31 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: NE Ohio
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I occasionally listen to Leo Laporte's podcasts/netcasts and he always talks about the 3-2-1 solution to data backup.

3 copies of any important file (a primary and two backups)

2 different media types (such as hard drive and optical media), to protect against different types of hazards.*

1 copy should be stored offsite (or at least offline).
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  #6  
Old 03-12-2013, 01:32 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Dayton, Ohio region
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I keep hard and digital copies of my tax papers in the safe deposit box. Digital copies are saved on flash drives, then labeled with a piece of tape and dropped in the box each year along with the paper version.
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  #7  
Old 03-12-2013, 01:37 PM
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Get a 8GB thumb drive, create a secured volume with TruCrypt and sleep easier at night

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