Three Best Practices Tips to Keep Your Computer Safe
Here’s the thing about security, no matter what you’re protecting: A good system is just a start, it’s never enough.
You put a fancy alarm on your car that screams and wails if someone so much as bumps your fender with their butt while putting their groceries away. That’s all well and good for the run-of-the-mill thief, but what happens when the career criminal notices your purse sitting in the front seat while you’re working out at the gym?
You get the home security system with the floodlights and video cameras that upload to the cloud and let you record in 4K, but then you never reprogram the passwords from the manufacturer’s install code. So when a hacker cracks your Internet of Things, they disable the whole system while you’re on vacation and make off with a fortune from your home.
What’s true for your real security is just as true for your cybersecurity. No matter how state of the art it is and no matter how much money you plunk down each month to have it protecting your work or home environment, it’s still not enough. Even amazing antivirus packages like Norton only work at their best with your help. Best practices rule the roost and keeping up with them can make your security system that much better. Here are a few musts to practice when you want to up the ante on your cybersecurity.
Always Update Everything
It seems like your computer has a sixth sense about when you really need to perform a task in a hurry, and selects that time to demand that it’s time for an update, usually one that requires a restart that lasts five hours. Annoying? Absolutely, but then again they only come when something urgent needs to be upgraded in your system; typically they are patches for known holes in the security system that left unpatched will get exploited by bad agents. It might take forever and a day in computer time for some of those upgrades and reboots to occur, but better a small delay than a permanent one.
Use a Password Manager
Everyone advises you that you need a different password for every service you use, and they all have to be a combination of numbers and letters and uppercase and lowercase and symbols. It’s just not realistic that you can remember all that. In place, a password manager requires that you recall just one long-string sequence to unlock the vault where all your others are kept. And those individual passwords are built randomly through algorithms, making them virtually uncrackable.
Lock it Up!
When you’re not using your computer, shut it down. Don’t leave your laptop lid open when you go to the bathroom at Starbucks. Don’t think just a few minutes is not enough time for someone to mess with your hardware. Maybe 99 times out of 100 nothing will happen, but there are professional criminals who hang out at coffee shops and airports and the food court at the mall for the sole purpose of taking advantage when someone leaves a device unintended. The more deterrents you have in place, the more likely you are to keep yourself safe from cybercrime.