Computer is created for both business and personal use, to both increase and enhance productivity. Automation is one benefit of the internet and our computer systems, which makes daily transactions and operations more efficient and effective.

However, these systems are not infallible, as they come under constant threat. These threats are malware, viruses, and other malicious file types, that can be found on the internet. Based on past statistics, the number of systems infected with at least one virus file, sits at around 40%. Additionally, over a third of all computer systems are under threat of being infected. Ransomware is another virus file type that is ravaging computer ownership.

When working with computers, it’s not enough to simply treat problems, but rather to be cautious at every turn, to prevent them. It’s in your best interest to fixate on preventative measures, because once your system has been infected. The damage is done.

Below are 8 tips that you should deploy, if you want your system to be safe and secure.

security tips

1. Install Antivirus Software

You want to ensure that you have antivirus software installed on your system, and is kept up-to-date with the latest virus definitions. The best antivirus tools, have real-time scanning capabilities, which means they can monitor and scan files, as and when they come onto your system. This is a priority, when it comes to computer security, but not the only, nor the most effective way of securing your computer.

2. Back Up Your Data

It’s always best practice to back up all sensitive data to an external storage device. You can opt to back up your files, either online or through a physical drive. You have the online cloud service available to you, like Google Drive and Dropbox – which are good choices. This is especially important, in the event that your computer suffers a power outage, cyber-attack or crash, which results in the permanent loss of data.

3. Use a Secure Browser

Make sure the browser you adopt, is secure and trusted amongst a large pool of users. There are several browsers around, with the most popular being Chrome, Edge, Safari, and Firefox. All of these browsers come with built-in security capabilities that are designed to minimize the threat posed by malicious files, like malware, viruses, Trojan horses, etc. These browsers also allow you to edit their privacy and security settings, this way, you can determine which area of the browser should be prioritized, and how these areas should be protected.

4. Remove Unwanted Software

Most applications on your system have vulnerabilities, which computer hackers can exploit, once they identify them. This means, the more software you have on your system, the more at risk it is. You want to decrease the number of avenues a computer hacker has to your system, by removing software that you do not need. Most computers and laptops come with, what is called, bloatware, which is essential, a whole load of programs and tools that you will never use. If you don’t need it, remove it.

There are also servers that run in the background of your system. Consider disabling them, as it too, will help safeguard your system, while at the same time, improve overall system performance.

5. Install a Firewall

A firewall is a program or a device that is used to control internet traffic and access, to and from your system. Most of the latest operating systems, come with a built-in software firewall. Additionally, most routers that come with your internet service also have a built-in firewall feature, which you can enable. So, to get started, you may want to look into those, and consider enabling and configuring them.

6. Use Common Sense

If you’re not 100% certain, then be cautious. If you get an email, with an attachment from someone you’re unfamiliar with, then your best cause of action is to delete it. You should also be wary of the websites you visit. Don’t commit to anything, on a site that looks, generally unprofessional. You should also be very careful when downloading programs, as some of them come with virus files, embedded into them.

7. Check Security of Websites

Today, due to the interventions of Google, site security has become more important now, than ever before. Now, you can look at the URL of a website, in any one of the top browsers and determine right away, whether or not it’s secure. Brower’s are constantly pushing out new updates that are designed to protect your privacy. So it’s in your best interest to learn a thing or two about these things. Make sure to never put any confidential data into a website that is marked “Not Secure”.

8. Manage Your Passwords

When making passwords, it’s always best practice to go with something as complex as possible. You also want to mix things up, so make sure every account you have has its own unique password. Try to stay away from using name initials, birthdays, and other things that a hacker could guess. Additionally, you may want to consider changing your passwords on a regular basis – at least once every 1 – 3 months. As this will tighten up security, for you.

–AUTHOR INFO—

Uchenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support website https://www.compuchenna.co.uk.