Today it seems like everyone has a computer. While this makes connecting easier, it also gives hackers the opportunity to prey on people that don’t protect themselves. This can mean anything from giving your computer a virus to stealing credit card or social security numbers. Thus, it behooves you to ensure that you protect your computer from hackers. Follow the following easy tips to make sure that you are safe:
Patches aren’t just for pirates anymore. When your OS asks you to update (or patch) your system, always click yes. While a lot of patches are designed to make your computer run better by eliminating software glitches, many patches also contain security updates that can protect your computer from harmful software or hackers.
Since hackers know that OS distributors will eventually block their software, they are constantly developing new viruses. Since companies like Microsoft and Apple have a lot of OS issues to deal with, their patches may not be able to keep up with new viruses-meaning that relying on OS patches puts your computer at risk.
Unlike OS distributors, developers of 3rd party virus software concentrate solely on protecting your computer. This means that 3rd party virus software companies identify new threats to your computer faster.
If you have your computer scan for Wi-Fi connections there’s a good chance that several of your neighbors connections are unsecured, meaning that you (or anyone else) can access them. Extra people “piggybacking” your Wi-Fi connection can slow down browsing speeds and , but it also give hackers easy access to your computer. That means that any information you have-including the credit card information you used for online purchases-can be stolen. Put a password on your wireless router to make it harder to steal your information and bandwidth.
Castle walls make sure no one gets into a castle unless they use the front gate. If your computer is a castle, then the firewall functions as both the wall and the front gate. A firewall constantly monitors your computer for unauthorized programs attempting to access your system. When a program does try to access your computer, the firewall alerts you and gives you the option to block the program. This ensures that only the programs you want run.
Websites tied to your bank, credit card, and email require a password. Not only do people use the same password for all these sites, they also choose a simple password-even one as easy to guess as “password.” Many people also use passwords related to life events such as an anniversary or birthday, making it easy for a thief (or former friend) to guess your password. When you combine this with the practice of using the same password for multiple websites, you give a thief easy access to everything in your life.
Be sure to use different passwords for each website you frequent and make sure that your passwords have nothing to do with your life. It’s also important to memorize these passwords, because if you write them all down in a “password journal” someone only needs to steal that journal.
Be careful what you download
One of the easiest ways to get a virus or malware program for a virus or malware program is to download it from the Internet, so be careful what you download. Look out for disreputable sites, like those loaded with advertisements or misleading information. If you do download a file from one of these sites, make sure that you scan it for viruses before running it.
A smart phone is essentially a computer, so in order to protect your data you need to treat it like one. Make sure that your cell phone apps are password protected and that you have a program that monitors all your phone’s activities. Since a cell phone is particularly vulnerable to theft, make sure that yours has an access password.
Author: This article is written by Tim Sandle, a tech blogger and the founder of FromDev a technology site about programming, books and tutorials.