Welcome back to part two of our computer security post!
On the last blog post we talked about tips 1-5. Just to recap quickly those are
1) Install and update antivirus and firewall protection
2) Secure your router
3) Use a non-administrator account
4) Keep software and operating system up to date
5) Practice good password use
To read more about those tips click here!
Without further delay, here are the remaining 5 tips.
6) Create and maintain backups
Most of us use our computers to store many of our memories. These can be pictures, videos, data files, music, etc. Creating a backup is fairly easy and will allow you to be able to keep those memories without fear of them being lost in the event that your computer crashes or a virus takes hold. In the event that you would have to factory reset your computer quickly, having a backup will allow you to gain access to all of the items that you have put on it without fear of them being lost.
7) Beware of scams
Where there are people there will always be scams. It is just the reality of our world. Before household computers were commonplace people would call and pretend to be a bank and ask for your information over the phone. It is important to familiarize yourself with the different types of scams floating about cyberspace. When in doubt do not give out information over the phone or computer and do not let anyone have remote access to your computer to ‘fix’ a problem unless you have specifically paid for this service and know you have it.
8) Protect your phones and tablets
I think one thing we often forget is that our phones/tablets are like computers as well and therefore they are susceptible to attacks and viruses. We need to treat our devices like we would our computers. Smartphones rule the roost when it comes to mobile devices and we use them for a variety of tasks which can include sensitive information like paying bills, online banking, and other types of accounts that we need to keep secure. Take time to create backups and be aware of what you are accessing view your mobile device.
9) Prevent spying through your microphone and camera
Many of our laptops and desktops come with a webcam which is a great tool to have, but these can be hacked without your knowledge. A microphone can also be hacked to listen in on conversations. These types of hacks are rare, but it is important to know that they are a potential risk. Some people choose to tape over the webcam when it is not in use or you could simply put a small sticky note over it. For the microphone, you can turn this off in your settings section.
10) Clean up after yourself
This is a very important step. Many times we sell our devices whether they are computers, laptops, or old phones or tablets, when we want an upgrade or are looking for something new. It is extremely important to make sure that everything is deleted off of the old device, but even that doesn’t fully secure your information in the event that someone with knowledge would want to recover it. It is important to use methods for a secure erase. There are a variety of programs available for doing this.
Well, there you have our 10 tips for computer security. All of this information can be overwhelming and we shouldn’t live our lives in a state of constant paranoia about being hacked, but it is important to know how to protect yourself and your information. Taking the time to make sure these steps are in place can let you go about your business with peace of mind.