The safety and security of your personal computer is almost certainly something you’ve been dealing with for a long time. If you keep your anti-virus software updated and establish strong passwords for your online accounts, changing them on a regular basis, you’ve got all your bases covered.
Here are some things you can (and should) do to stay safe.
1. Check Your Firewall
A firewall is a piece of software or hardware that sits between your computer and the internet and only allows certain types of data to cross. For example, a firewall may allow checking email and browsing the web, but disallow things like Windows file sharing.
2. Back Up Your Data
Backing up your data protects you in the event of a computer crash or electrical outage or surge, like a lightning storm might produce. It also helps if you fall prey to the newer type of ransomware, which encrypts your sensitive data. You can do your back-up manually by transferring important documents to an external hard drive or cloud storage like google driver or Microsoft onedrive
3. Stay Away From Rogue Websites
Spotting a rogue website can be difficult, but there are a few things you can do to hone your skills. Look for a green lock in the address bar and the code prefix “https://” at the beginning of the URL while visiting banking sites, entering your credit card data or accessing your web mail. Be careful when shopping at a website that ships items from overseas, and don’t click on links sent to you in email messages, go directly to the website itself instead.
4. Avoid Deals That Are Too Good to Be True
If you see a deal for 90% off The Beatles Collection CD, it very well could be a knock off. Even worse, some sites are known to lure customers in with an amazing deal, and once they have your credit card information they’re never to be heard from again – your identity may be compromised and there’s not even a product to show for it. The simple rule of thumb here is: If it looks to good to be true then it probably is.
5. Avoid Opening Unknown Emails
Never open an email from an unknown or suspicious source, and definitely never open any attachments contained in them. You have to be careful of emails coming from people on your contact list as well, especially if the sender’s account has been hacked. If an email from someone you regularly communicate with has a suspicious link and unusual content, delete it and immediately alert this person that his or her account may have been compromised. This will help you prevent hacking and phishing scams where you may be a target.