Whether you’re a top-level financier or a just Facebook addict, having your computer security compromised is an awful proposition. Between online banking, work emails with cloud access, and personal conversations through G chat or Facebook messenger, there’s a lot at stake in the virtual world.
With this in mind, M.I.T. Consulting has assembled 6 computer security tips that are as effective as they are easy to implement. We are a leading provider of Toronto IT services, and we’ve been using these tips to keep our clients safe since our company’s launch in 2003. Read on to learn some security tips and safe browsing practices from our IT service experts!
- Patch things up. Downloading and installing new updates can be a real pain, especially when it calls for a computer reboot. It takes a surprising amount of self-discipline to keep up to date with your patches, but it’s always worthwhile. A computer with outdated software is always going to be more vulnerable than one that is updated. Set your computer to patch software and update operating systems automatically.
- Create strong passwords. This is one of the most fundamental steps you can take to improve your computer security. “Password” passwords are so bad that they’ve become a punchline in the IT service world. Unless you want your IT security to be the butt of our industry’s jokes, mix numbers, letters, and special characters into your password. Be sure to change passwords regularly, and don’t recycle passwords for different accounts.
- Backup your important files. Backing up your data won’t stop you from being hacked, but it will mitigate the damage. You can go the hardcopy route, or explore cloud computing options with our IT service experts. In either case, backups can be a real lifesaver.
- Don’t leave your computer unattended. Though virtual crime is sometimes carried out in very sophisticated ways, some computer hacks are pretty mundane, involving no more “skill” than sitting down to skim through an unattended computer. Remember: your computer’s virtual security and physical security are equally important. It doesn’t matter whether you’re at the office, the library, or an internet cafe; your computer should never be left logged on unattended!
- Stay email savvy. Many of the more damaging malware and “Trojans” are deployed through email spam. As a general rule, don’t open unsolicited emails, no matter how enticing the subject line appears. Sophisticated spambot software will actually pull your name from social media accounts or other registries, luring you into opening the email with a personalized subject line. Be wary of attachments, links, and forms in emails that come from unknown contacts. Gmail’s junk filter is great, but it could always use a little backup!
- Erect firewalls. Most desktops come with some basic firewall software. Take advantage of whatever firewall your computer comes with, and be very discerning about which programs you allow through. Our IT service experts can recommend some high-performance options for your specific operating system.
That’s all for now; these 6 fundamental computer security tips should keep you safe from all but the most sinister of malware and phishing threats.
Want to learn more security tips from our IT service experts? Call (416) 250-1040 to learn more and schedule your free quote!