10 tips to make your computer more secure
With many people now working from home, security is even more important. Most places of business have security processes in place to keep them secure, but what about your home? In times of crisis, there are always scammers out there trying to take advantage of vulnerable people.
We have put together a list of things to help keep your computer and network more secure.
1. Sign off when you're not actively using your computer
Technical security is not the only important thing – Physical security is as well
When you stop using your desktop, laptop or phone lock the screen or sign out
If you have sensitive information on an external drive, make sure that is locked somewhere safe
2. Be aware of phishing scams and don’t fall for them
It is especially important to be aware about phishing now. Scammers are trying hard to get you to fall for them with COVID-19.
This includes texts, emails and phone calls.
The key rule is that if it sounds too good to be true – it is. However, scammers are getting smarter every day with their phishing tactics. They use Social Engineering to home in on the scams that might get response – including anything related to COVID-19.
3. Be careful what you click
Avoid downloading software from untrusted sources
Avoid visiting unknown websites – they may host malware that will silently take over your computer
If you are not expecting an email attachment from someone, do not open it
Hover over links in email to make sure they are going to the same place they claim, and if you are unsure do not click it.
4. Keep your computer and software up to date
Always install the latest updates for your computer – this is critical. Not updating your computer is like not going to the doctor. You need those checkups to make sure everything is working its best.
It is also a good idea to turn on automatic updates, and to use a browser like Chrome or Firefox. These browsers do automatic security updates frequently.
5. Always use a strong and unique password – for every account you have
Always use a strong and UNIQUE password for your accounts. Most websites do have a minimum accepted password with upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and special characters
However, if your password gets caught in a data breach and you use it all over the place you are extremely vulnerable to hacking
If you have a hard time remembering all the passwords use a password manager
6. Install a firewall on your computer
Your computer probably has a built-in firewall (Both Windows and Mac OS come with them) – make sure you use it.
7. Install a good anti-virus
Only install an anti-virus from a trusted source, and make sure to keep it updated. Not updating it can render it ineffective.
8. Don’t trust public WIFI
Right now, you shouldn’t be hanging out anywhere that has public wifi to begin with, but when we can go back to it beware.
If a website isn’t using https, then that information is not encrypted and could be collected by someone malicious - especially to collect passwords.
You can get around this by using a VPN (Virtual Private Network). This is something we can set up for you, or you can purchase yourself.
A VPN encrypts your data by connecting to a secure server in the middle.
9. Back up your data
Back up regularly, so if you are a victim to hacking/phishing you still have that data available.
10. Know that you are a target to hackers
Everyone is a target for being hacked. If you follow these rules for staying secure that greatly lessens the chance.