In the information age, there are many fast developing technologies that make it easier to connect with friends, followers, clients, colleagues, and fellow travelers of many sorts. The ease of access often masks the complexity of the technology, and also can be overwhelming.
Keeping track of all these connections and managing the data associated with these relationships exposes the fast lane traveler to bumps in the road. These bumps can slow you down -- just as potholes one encounters along the streets of many cities. The damage inflicted can be minor delays to total disaster. It is important to protect yourself against such disasters with forms of insurance and operating strategies that steer clear of many obstacles.
The most basic strategies to employ include email filters to direct unwanted communications to junk mail folders, and anti-virus software to help avoid attacks by viruses and other "malware" which has the intention of disrupting your travel. These operate automatically, in the background, and protect you without the need for intervention on your part. The only requirement is to update the tools that you use to maintain currency with newly developed intrusions.
The next level of protection is the use of "common sense safety." This includes not opening any emails that are from unknown sources, and avoiding "links" in any communications that request access to personal information such as passwords or other personal identification. You should ALWAYS initiate communication with your bank, credit card companies, or any bill payment action that you take. Even though you receive an email, you should close the message and initiate contact to avoid any "official looking communications" that could result in identity theft.
Finally, you should imploy a "FAIL SAFE BACKUP" for your data, and your system. All computer maufacturers provide an easy to use BACKUP AND RESTORE OPTION that will allow you to restore your system to its original state in case of a hardware failure, or malicious attack. This is the most critical and important step for the fast lane traveler.
For sophisticated Internet and personal computer users, your computer system becomes an extension of your brain -- saving many hours of labor, and "indexing information" that you would otherwise have to remember. If this index, and the associated data is destroyed, it is akin to losing your memory and capacity for critical thinking and problem solving. The more you use your system the more critical it is to schedule regular backups of your data and your system. You should backup your data at least weekly, and your total system quarterly. There are many resources available to assist you in these fundamental practices. You don't have to be a geek to stay safe.
I recently had a hard drive failure, and because of disciplined, regular backup procedures, I was able to restore my entire system to a new hard drive without losing any information at all. Just as you maintain safe tires, automobile insurance, regular maintenance, and practice safe driving techniques in your automobile to avoid disasters or death, you should also employ SAFE DATA MANAGEMENT PRACTICES to avoid bumps in the road along the Information Superhighway.