When it comes to your computer, security should be your number one priority. Here are ten computer security tips that you need to follow.
Lock It Down
It’s always a good idea to lock your PC if strangers are nearby and you step away for a few minutes. Just press Windows key+L to lock your PC. Alternatively, you can set your screensaver (via the Screensaver tab in Display Settings under Control Panel) to require a password if it’s deactivated by checking the box in “Settings” that says “On resume, password protect.”
Prevent Phishing Attacks
Protect yourself from identity theft and phishing attacks by using the the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, IE. These browsers include protection that double-checks URLs against a blacklist, and will notify you if you’re about to visit a known phishing site.
Keep Your Software Up to Date
Hackers and crackers love to take advantage of exploits found in software, which causes the developers to release a patch to plug up the holes. Therefore, it’s imperative you not only enable Windows Update but also download the latest version of any software on your system, especially your Web browser and antivirus program.
Steer Clear of P2P Sites
Virus makers love peer-to-peer file-sharing services. They name their virus something that is trending like “JLaw ScreenSaver” or something similar and upload it. Then millions of people download it, launch it, and wonder why their computers are infested with viruses. Download with caution, and always use antivirus software. If you need an effective, free antivirus solution, we recommend AVG Free.
Wipe the Drive Before Donating Your Old Computer
If you are getting rid of a hard drive and want to render all or some of its data unrecoverable, you have two options. You can download Eraser to securely wipe any file or folder, and you can use Darik’s Boot andNuke SE (DBAN) to write over the entire drive. To use DBAN, download it and burn it as an ISO disc, then boot from it. It will provide you with instructions on the welcome screen.
Encrypt Sensitive Files
If you want to encrypt sensitive data, you can buy a portable USB drive with built-in encryption, but if you just want to protect a specific folder or group of files, we recommend Truecrypt, which is free. It encrypts a custom-sized volume with 256-bit AES encryption, so it’s extremely secure.
Back Up Your Data
You must back up your data, period. Invest in an external hard drive or even better, a SSD. If you don’t want to invest in a drive then research an offsite backup company. We suggest services like CrashPlan or iBackup. These services are very easy to configure.
Many people have a “set it and forget it” mindset when it comes to backups. Even after you establish a regimen, however, it’s critical that you check the target folders periodically to ensure the proper files are being backed up. If not, re-configure your backup routine to make sure it’s working properly.
Turn Off Your PC During Storms
Even surge protectors can be overwhelmed during electrical storms, and we’ve seen the results first-hand—fried motherboards, processors, hard drives and power supplies. If you’re experiencing a heavy-duty electrical storm, take our advice and unplug your computer from the wall socket—just in case. And buy a laptop or tablet to use until the storm passes.
Enable S.M.A.R.T for Your Hard Drives
S.M.A.R.T (self-monitoring analysis and reporting technology) allows your drive to report whether it’s about to fail, which can give you a heads-up to replace it. All the modern hard drives have it—go into your PC’s BIOS (press Del or F2/F10 during bootup) and enable it.
We hope these ten computer security tips are helpful for you at home or work. For all of your IT, website design social media and marketing needs…think Alpha Geeks Onsite. Contact us today by email or call 844-ALPHAGEEKS…844-257-4243