Must Read Computer Safety Tips

In this day and age, we are more dependent on computers than ever before. Whether it be our work or managing various aspects of our personal life, we rely on computers to make things easier for us. Online shopping, managing our bank accounts, transferring money, using social media all involve the exchange of some sensitive and personal information between our computers and the web servers.

Thus it is immensely important for taking appropriate measures to ensure the safety of our data. Cyber criminals are always on the prowl all over the internet looking to target vulnerable systems to steal sensitive data. Spywares, malware, Trojans, viruses are all genuine threats that could compromise our personal information.

But worry not since we have compiled a list a few of the most important computer safety tips that will ensure your computers stay safe from the threat of online criminals.

Use an Anti-Virus Software

One of the first things you should do after buying a new desktop or a laptop is install safe and reliable Anti-Virus software. Anti-Virus gives you all round protection from viruses, malware, spyware and basically all sorts of malicious programs that infect your computers. Perform regular scans using this software to check for possible malicious programs that may have crept into your system without your knowledge. An important thing to remember is always to keep your Anti-Virus updated. It is highly recommended to choose a trusted and favorite brand of anti-virus which usually comes at a pretty low price.

Robust and secure passwords

A lot of people often overlook the importance of passwords and end up using a weak and small password. This can be very dangerous as hackers use a wide variety of advanced techniques to crack passwords with ease. Using strong passwords for your personal account which combines letters, numbers, symbols and is at least 12-16 characters long can make it very difficult, if not impossible, to crack it. Avoid using very generic words as your passwords that can be guessed and also use different passwords for different accounts. And if you haven’t guessed it already, never tell your password to anyone.

Use a firewall

No computer can ever be safe if it does not have firewall protection. A firewall basically serves as a shield protecting your computers from getting infected by malicious programs. Firewalls block unknown programs from accessing your system and prevent unsecured connections from connecting to your network. Most operating systems come with inbuilt firewall protection that is turned on by default and does a decent job. However, there is several dedicated firewall protection software that is available both free of cost or at a small price which does an even better job.

Avoid surfing shady and unknown websites

Web browsers are increasingly becoming the most significant vulnerability when it comes to computing. Hackers make use of various scripts, adware, and spyware in websites they have created to infect systems that surf these websites without protection. So it is best for you to avoid browsing websites that look shady and isn’t widely known. Use an internet security program to get an improved layer of security while browsing the internet. You should also remember not to click on random links that do not come from trusted sources.

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Be cautious while opening E-mails

Cyber criminals widely make use of e-mail attachments to infect computers with all sorts of malicious programs that can steal all your personal information. Never open e-mail attachments that have come from unknown sources. Even if the e-mails have come from trusted sources, always consider scanning these attachments for viruses, and you’d be surprised at how often they do. So the next time a Nigerian Price claims that you can win a million dollars by clicking the “link below,” do yourself a favor and delete the email instantly.

Back up your data on a regular basis

A lot of us tend to ignore this very important part of computer security. Backing up important data is just as vital as the other steps mentioned in the article. Regular backups can ensure you are able to retrieve your data in case something unexpected happens. Viruses can often corrupt many important files which, unless you create backups of them, are lost forever.  Backups are also helpful when you accidentally delete important files from your system. There are several backup services available that enable you to create backups of important stuff on your computer and store them safely on a cloud server. Do consider subscribing to one.

Be careful while using your computer in Public places

If you’re using your laptop in a public place, never leave it unattended even for a short time. Always log out from your account and lock your system with a password if you have to leave your machine unattended. Also keep in mind that when you’re accessing your e-mails or social media accounts on public computers, such as in a library, ALWAYS log out after you’re done. You also should ensure that your username and passwords are not saved in the computer after you’re done using them. It is also highly recommended that you not use public computers for carrying out important transactions or logging into your bank accounts and other important accounts.

Update your OS and other software regularly

It is extremely crucial for you to scan for updates of your OS and install them regularly. Vulnerabilities in OS and other software are discovered on a regular basis, and subsequently, patches and updates are released by the developers to fix them. These vulnerabilities can often be exploited by hackers to compromise your system and steal data. So in order to keep your system safe, regularly install updates. It is highly advisable to enable auto-updates for you OS to ensure your system stays up to date.

Conclusion

While these above measures are not 100% foolproof, they can go a long way in ensuring your computer stays protected from the threat of cyber criminals and malicious programs. These 8 tips, if followed correctly, can provide 99% protection to your system and even elongate the life of your computer by a significant extent.