October is Cyber-Security Month, and we want to celebrate with a list of the top 10 habits to protect your PC (or Mac) and your data!
- Use strong passwords that cannot be easily guessed. Protect them from others. If you have to write them down, keep the list in a safe so others cannot steal them.
- Protect your information while emailing or using the internet. You should never share confidential information through email, and only on sites you know are secure.
- Try to minimize the amount of sensitive data you keep on your PC. If you do need to keep such data on your PC, there are software programs and apps that can help encrypt the data so it is much less likely to be stolen. We can suggest software for your needs if you contact us.
- Watch for scams! Customers using our managed services plans are able to contact us for advice about potential scams as a part of their plans, but one should never hesitate to second guess emails or websites that look suspect. Go with your gut! If you feel it’s not right, it probably isn’t.
- Make sure your antivirus and anti-malware programs are running and kept up to date. Expired programs cannot protect you from any new threats! Using a managed service plan from us allows us to monitor your antivirus and anti-malware whether you purchase them from us or on your own.
- Critical security patches for your operating system (Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, etc.) NEED to be installed when they become available! These patches and updates come because flaws have been identified and people are working to exploit the vulnerabilities. Again, our managed service plans take care of such updates automatically, so you do not have to worry!
- Be sure to lock, log off, shut down, or put tech devices to sleep when unattended and require a password to regain access. It only takes a person a few seconds to type in a password, but losing your information could result in stolen identities, lost money, time, and vast amounts of stress. Those few seconds are completely worth the trouble!
- Physically secure your devices and space when you leave for the day. Losing computers and tech devices cost users much more than the money paid for the devices. Even with insurance, the time spent and the data lost can be tremendous.
- Do NOT install unsolicited or unknown programs. If you are wondering why your computer wants you to approve some changes, then you probably should not accept the changes. Our managed services customers are able to send us a message right from their computer before installing software they are unsure of.
- BACKUP! The number one problem we see regarding data loss is the lack of a good backup solution. So many people have good intentions with CD backups, external hard drives, or USB drives filled with photos and documents, but when something is lost, they are often left with defective data devices or outdated data. We suggest using an online backup service such as Carbonite to keep your devices backed up and current with virtually no effort.
If you have any questions about these or other practices, contact us and we will work to help you find answers!