You may think that you are safe and protected, browsing the internet in the privacy of your own home, but in this world, there’s no such thing as being absolutely protected against malicious hackers who may be out to do you harm. As there is a lot of sensitive information that is accessible to those who know how to penetrate your computer’s meagre defences, it’s time you learnt these basics.
10 ways to keep the bad guys away from your precious data.
1) Update your Software: the OS and even programs on your computers get periodically updated to remove any loopholes, weak links and vulnerabilities. Avoid using outdated software and enable product updates for more protection.
2) Download updated security software: Having a firewall is a basic security requirement that keeps the trash out of your computers. While this does come in a pre package with your computer at the time of purchase, you can go the extra mile and download an antivirus, anti spyware and anti-malware software.
3) Wipe out all sensitive data when considering selling your device: If you are thinking of selling your personal computer, be sure to wipe clean all personal information as that could be used against you. A lot of electronics are reused and recycled, and having your slate wiped clean could prevent any misuse of your data. You can format your device, or use a program like d-ban to delete stored information.
4) Avoid using open wifi: This is like staying in a private suite or crashing in a dorm room. Open wifi connections make your device vulnerable to uninvited guests stealing your data.
5) Password protect your devices: We tend to lose our mobile devices a lot more often and a simple thing like password protecting them could save you a world of trouble. As electronic devices are more complicated than many computers from our yesteryear, it has become even more important to protect all your personal information that you carry around in your pocket.
6) Avoid simple passwords: Avoid creating patterns or passwords that are easy to crack like 1111, or your birthday. You can even opt for a 2 factor authentication that doubles the protection, yet offers ease of mind should you need to reclaim your device.
7) Be creative with answers to security questions: You’d be alarmed at just how much information can be divulged about you from a simple online search. Think out of the box and when a generic question comes up, answer with a twist – just remember your answer for the next time.
8) Be smart about email scams: Remember that Nigerian prince who needed money? We’ve all received that mail at some point and although we can figure out that was a scam, hackers have upped their game. Avoid opening links that you are not sure of, and from suspicious email addresses. Don’t open .exe files and do a quick online search if you are not sure of the authenticity of the mail.
9) Avoid linking accounts: It may seem like it’s main your life easier, but if you are prompted to sign in with a social media account like Facebook or Twitter just to post a comment, don’t go for it. This move seriously decreases your security.
10) Don’t share sensitive information on the Cloud: Anything on the cloud does not belong to you anymore, and it can be accesses very easily. If it’s important, don’t store it there.