Computer security threats are not abating anytime soon. In order to keep your system safe, you must adopt a security-conscious mindset. A computer can be stolen, its data corrupted by attackers, or malware installed for unauthorized remote access.
Fortunately, there are a lot of things you can do to improve computer security. Since there are many ways a computer can be attacked, there’s no single solution for computer security. Some tips that can make your system more secure is discussed below:
1. Physically Secure Your System
Physical protection for your computers and devices is as important as online safety measures. While exploiting a network hack can be limited by time and a properly configured system, a stolen computer gives a hacker almost unlimited power to access your data.
With physical access, your drive, emails, and important business data are all at the mercy of the thief or the receiver. Also, they have enough time and tools on their hand to crack the security on your system and pry out any information they need.
Keep your computer and other devices in a safe place when not in use to prevent unauthorized access or outright theft. A physical lock may be necessary to secure your PC and deter opportunistic thieves. You should also consider self-contained alarms that go off if someone tries to remove your system.
2. Install Tracking Software
A computer can be tracked through Wi-Fi if it goes missing. Some specialized software can also alert you and authorities about the location of your system when it is moved away from designated safe locations.
3. Keep Backups Up to Date
Data and the software on a computer are what makes it more valuable. A backup is like a second PC, with it you can restore your PC to its previous state or create a new PC with your existing data.
Backups are very important for keeping your computer safe. It can help you deal with computer loss, physical damage, or security issues as you can recover your system with an up-to-date data backup.
4. Use Antivirus
Antivirus is an important part of a computer’s security arsenal. They protect your system against malicious software and other threats. An antivirus can quickly detect and remove malware before it can cause serious damage.
Some antivirus programs are also equipped to deal with ransomware that cybercriminals use to encrypt your files and demand payment before decrypting them. If your antivirus does not have an anti-ransomware module, get additional dedicated software for it.
Don’t just install antivirus and forget about it. Check it regularly to see that it is working correctly as expected. You may also inspect its scanning and malware blocking history.
5. Use Secure Passwords
Passwords are useful for locking down your computer as well as securing various online accounts. Always use a password even if it is optional. It is a good security layer to prevent unauthorized access.
Never reuse passwords for different online accounts. An ideal password is long and includes special characters and alphanumeric keys. These are best generated by password managers for ease of access when needed.
6. Restrict Account Privileges
Owning a system usually makes you the administrator but you don’t have to operate your computer with the administrator setting.
Using a regular account will ensure that malicious programs won’t automatically gain admin privileges to hijack or infect your system.
7. Avoid Third-Party USB Drives
USB or external drives are a common medium for spreading malware. Some thumb drives can even be programmed to circumvent OS security settings and automatically install malware on your system.
Only use USBs that you own or come from trusted sources should ever be connected to your system.
8. Enable Firewall
Computers usually come with firewalls. Do not disable or downgrade their settings for any reason. Some hackers use social engineering to get victims to disable their firewalls for smoother malware infection.
For businesses, the default firewalls may not be sufficient to keep all computers safe. You may want to look at third-party providers.
9. Watch Out for Harmful Emails
A large part of computer infection and compromise arise from malicious emails. Emails may look harmless but they can be used as a launchpad for hijacking an organization’s systems and stealing data.
Never open an attachment from unknown sources. Also, avoid clicking on suspicious links in email even when it contains attractive offers.
10. Keep Your Personal Data Private
Hackers seek personal information they can use to plan and tailor their attacks. This may include your favorite coffee shop or vacation destinations.
Unfortunately, discovering such information is not hard as we share a lot on social media that can expose us to attack. In addition, brazen attackers can call or send email to ask for the specific information they need about you.
You should lock down your social media security settings to prevent random strangers from seeing your private information.
You can avoid malware, internet scams, and device theft by following the tips discussed above. Keeping a dedicated IT security team might consume too much of a small business’ budget.
Contact us to learn how we can make your business more secure.