Protecting your text files from cyber threats and data breaches


From personal documents to business data, plain text exposes your most critical secrets. That’s why it’s essential to protect your text files from outside intrusion and theft. Use the right tools and tactics to lock down text and reduce the risks of data breaches or misuse. Start by encrypting text files, especially those containing private details. Encryption converts content into unreadable code that requires a decryption key to unlock. It ensures that only authorized parties open and view your documents. Enable file or disk encryption features in your operating system or use third-party encryption programs.

Store text securely

Be thoughtful about where you save text files. Keep them in encrypted volumes or containers for added security. Cloud storage services like Dropbox provide encryption options. For text containing highly sensitive data, use a secure digital vault that requires multifactor authentication to access. Don’t store plain text documents loosely across devices and services. Centralize in protected locations. Carefully control who accesses text files. Use permissions and access control lists (ACLs) to restrict unauthorized users from opening documents. Share decryption keys only with trusted individuals. Require strong passwords, two-factor authentication, or biometrics to view files. The fewer people who reach your text, the better. Monitor and log access attempts.

Disable previews

Turn off preview features in apps and file managers that could expose text content. Previews show snippets of text right in the interface before opening a file. Disable them to avoid accidental exposure of sensitive details. It creates unnecessary security gaps. Apps exist that prevent screenshots, screen recording, and image grabs that could capture your text. Use them when viewing extremely sensitive files to block theft. Most operating systems have screenshot permissions you adjust for individual apps. Ambient light sensors can also detect and block unauthorized captures.

Use OCR protection

Enable OCR (optical character recognition) protection in files to prevent text extraction. This stops threats like taking images of screens or printouts and using OCR to lift text out. OCR protection only shows garbled dummy characters which defeats this attack vector. Keep your viewable text from being digitally stolen. When emailing or sharing text files, use end-to-end encrypted channels to prevent interception. Never send plain text over open internet connections. Encrypt attachments and share decryption keys over separate secure channels. For high-stakes data, use online vaults that allow secure file transmission between verified parties.

Destroy files securely 

Delete text files completely when no longer needed using secure deletion methods like multi-pass overwriting. It prevents the recovery of “deleted” data remnants. For printed text documents, use disintegrators or incineration for safe destruction. Don’t just trash sensitive text files or paper records. Only allow users the minimum access required to text files to complete duties. Avoid overexposing data to broader internal teams. Compartmentalize and implement need-to-know access. Losing control of one account should not expose the wider organization. Lean security minimizes damage from any breach.

Educate employees

Train employees in text file security basics like never emailing sensitive documents or saving to unauthorized cloud accounts. Make sure staff utilize key security features you put in place. Educate on recognizing threats like phishing aimed at stealing login credentials. Text files represent low-hanging fruit for malicious actors. what is private message box? Don’t underestimate the value of your private documents and notes. With encryption, smart storage, strict access controls, transmission security, and safe destruction you keep your text protected. Guard your sensitive data against compromise.