Our simple tips for computer security
It is easy to overlook computer security but often very hard to recover when something goes wrong. Data security is at the heart of everything we do at StyleTech so to celebrate Computer Security Day we are sharing some of our favourite tips to keep your computer, and personal data, secure. No matter your skills with a computer, these tips are quick, easy and effective.
Only use strong and secure passwords
Every day we make use of many different services, websites and applications that are all password protected. With the huge number of passwords we need to come up with and remember, it is easy to take shortcuts and re-use the same insecure passwords for all our accounts.
The most effective and simple method of keeping data secure is a unique password for every account consisting of upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters. As is it a challenge to remember these passwords, we recommend using a password generator to create secure passwords and password management software to keep tabs of them all.
It is also good practice to never write a password down as a reminder and to change passwords periodically. Even if you only manage to do this with your most vital accounts, it will go a long way to keeping your computer secure.
Ensure all your work is backed up
If your computer is ever compromised, erasing and re-installing the system is often the most effective method to repair it. This is why it is vital to have up to date back-ups stored elsewhere that can be accessed if the need ever arises.
Using an external hard drive or the cloud are great options to keep your documents secure and accessible when you need them. Services like SharePoint, Dropbox and Google Drive are all useful storage tools that can be used individually or collaboratively with your team.
Keep your software up to date
Outdated software often has vulnerabilities that can be exploited by individuals to gain access to your computer, make changes to the software or take a hold of your data. Just as technology changes and grows, so too do viruses and malware, this is why security patches are released to keep software safe from modern threats.
It is important to work from the latest version of your software. At StyleTech we recommend turning on automatic updates for your operating system and web browsers and also checking periodically for updates with any mission-critical software you couldn’t live without.
Be suspicious of unknown emails and downloads
Malware can spread by text message, downloads, social networking sites, clicking a link and most commonly, through email. Opening an unknown email or clicking a suspicious link can infect your computer.
Try to always err on the side of caution and only open emails and links from sources you trust. We recommend you heed the warnings of your email’s spam folder, treat any email from an unknown source as suspicious and hover over any link before you click it to see where it directs to.
Never leave your computer unattended
The physical security of your computer and any device you use is just as important as technical security. Control access to your devices by ensuring they are never left unattended, locking them when not in use and shutting down your PC overnight. This saves energy and makes sure that your work cannot be accessed when you are not around.
Getting in simple habits like this doesn’t take much time and can go a long way to protecting your data, documents and private information from real-world threats.
Be wary of sharing personal details online
Be sparing with the personal information you provide online. Information that can be used to identify you such as your email address, birthdate or phone number can be used to log into your accounts, gain access to your data or steal your identity.
Think about what you have posted on social media and what information about you is freely available online. Consider updating your privacy settings and every so often going back to double check them as settings can reset to default after an update. It is also important to make sure webcams are covered and microphones are unplugged when not in use so nobody can capture images or record your conversations without your knowledge.
We hope these tips can help up your computer security and give you some peace of mind. At StyleTech we always take the security of our bespoke software extremely seriously. If you would like to find out more about our software solutions, and how they can keep your valuable business data protected, feel free to get in touch.
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