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Computer Security Tips You Need To Know For 2020


Computer Security Tips You Need To Know For 2020

Whether you own a business or keep important information stored on your computer, keeping up to date with computer security is crucial. Prying eyes can be after your information even if you have it your password-protected on your hard drive.

According to Forbes, in the first six months of 2019, Data breaches exposed 4.1 billion records. Not to mention the number of ransomware attacks occurring every day.  In order to keep your computer safe, you need the best cybersecurity tips. Below we will cover what you need to know and do in order to secure your devices against the rising world of cybercrime in 2020.

Choose your passwords wisely

Believe it or not, many people still use weak passwords.  When you use a password that is short and simple, you are opening the door for cybercriminals to steal your personal information. Coming up with a strong password that you won’t forget is not as hard as you may think.  It is not necessary to create a random password filled with a bunch of letters and characters.  Here are a few tips for creating passwords that will help keep hackers away:

  • Use a password that you’ll remember, the more characters the more secure
  • Don’t use common words and character combinations in your password like “qwerty” or “12345”.
  • Avoid using your name, any nicknames, pet names, birth dates, your address number, or street name.  Pretty much avoid using anything that someone can find out on social media.
  • Make sure your password is at least 8 characters long and use a variety of character types.  Just be sure to not use these four symbols (excluding &%#@_).
  • Avoid using the same password for more than one account.  You also want to change your password at least once a year.

Because remembering all these different passwords can be very challenging, using a password manager is very helpful.  Here are some of the top ones for 2020.

Use Two-Factor or Multi-factor Authentication If Offered

When setting up an online account for things like your email, you may be prompted to add two-factor authentication to your account.  This will just add another layer of protection to your account.  You will typically be asked for a phone number to verify any new logins from new devices.  When it comes time to authenticate you, you will usually be sent a PIN to your phone number.  There are also other forms of authentication like using your fingerprint.  It just all depends on what you are offered and what you ultimately choose as your preferred method.

Multi-factor authentication works the same way.  You will just need to provide even more information than the two-step authentication.

Always Install Updates Right Away

When you are operating a computer that is using outdated and unsupported software, you open it to serious computer security threats. It will allow cybercriminals to have easier access to your personal information. When software companies issue updates, they are trying to ensure that unwanted third parties don’t gain access to your information. and keep your information safe.

The key is to install any updates as soon as they come.  The best way to make sure you don’t miss an update is to set your computer to update automatically. Just be sure that you keep extensions, like flash and java, up-to-date.

You Should Have Both a Firewall and an Antivirus Program

Unfortunately, even if you do the software updates and use strong passwords, cyber threats can still reach you.  Using a reliable anti-virus software along with a firewall will give you the best shot at fighting malicious cyber threats. A firewall will help filter any activity coming into your system, helping to stop any hackers and malicious software before they invade your system.  Moreover, antivirus software will help halt any threats that have made it past your firewall. A few pointers to keep in mind:  You should not have more than one anti-virus software running on your computer and you should never turn off your firewall or antivirus software to allow a program through.

Always Backup Your Data

If the worst-case scenario happens to your computer and you need to wipe it clean, you want to have all your data backed up.  We have worked on many computers where the owner did not back up years of precious pictures and sadly the pictures were gone. Ideally, your data should be backed up on local storage like a hard drive or flash drive.  You should also have it backed up in something like the Cloud.

Cybersecurity should be a priority

When it comes to keeping your personal information safe and secure on your devices, you need to be proactive.  If you follow the above tips, you will help keep your personal data safe and identify threats at bay.  If you think your computer has a virus, our computer repair services can help remove them.  We can also suggest the best antivirus software programs to go along with what else you can be doing to keep your computer security in top form.

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