Following the tips given below can tighten your computer’s security. If you are new to this, you can use these as a security checklist.
Upgrade Your Operating System
Many businesses employ an “if it ain’t broke, don’t mess with it” philosophy to justify the continued use of older versions of Windows OS. But when it comes to security, it’s best to go for the latest. If you are not sure your hardware can run the latest Windows 10, it’s better to at-least opt for Windows 8.1.And while upgrading, be sure to opt for the 64-bit version, which is harder to compromise.
Set up your computer to automatically update the operating system and installed programs. An un-patched system has more software vulnerabilities and thus prone to exploitation.
Install protective software.
Avast is available as a free download on Windows for personal/non-commercial use. Once installed, allow the program to update virus definitions and scan your files on a regular basis.
Opt for secure passwords.
Stronger passwords that use combinations of letters, numbers and special characters can be easily remembered by creating a mental image or an acronym. Use different passwords for different accounts, and change them frequently. It’s worth the effort!
Having regular backups scheduled can protect you from the unexpected. Be sure to store a few months’ worth of backups and make sure the files can be accessed if needed.
Use the internet and email wisely.
Ignore unsolicited emails, be wary of attachments, links, and forms in emails that are not from people you know, or which seem “fishy.” Avoid untrustworthy (often too good to be true) offers, be it freeware or rewards.
Both Mac and Windows OS have basic desktop firewalls integrated with their operating systems. If set up properly, these firewalls can adequately protect your files from getting scanned.
Update Your Programs
Be sure to update your installed third-party software when prompted to, and it’s better to check for updates from time to time manually. Often, these updates include newer features you can’t care less about, but often deliver annoying critical security patches in the background as well. For additional helping, latest anti-virus programs can scan the programs installed on your system and let you know those which need updates (and also provide verified links).
Use Tougher Encryption
You are probably aware that securing your Wi-Fi network with the default WEP encryption can be barely better than none at all. That’s compared to even the advanced and vastly superior WPA being surprisingly prone to intrusion, particularly when short and/or dictionary-based passphrases are used.
In order to maximize the security aspect of your wireless network, choose WPA2 that makes use of AES encryption, far stronger than the TKIP (Temporal Key Integrity Protocol) method commonly used. Be warned though: first, some non-PC Wi-Fi enabled hardware may not support WPA2 (firmware updates will usually take care of this). Also, WPA2 will require more computational power than the older WPA, which could degrade the speed of your wireless network when used with older access points and/or PCs.
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