Ensuring internet Security On Your Computer At Home
Cyber security threats have been increasing in the recent years. For the past few years, it is not just the individuals that have fallen prey to cyber threats but also huge companies. In fact, there have been quite a few scandals due to data loss by some tech giants which has allowed the personal information of customers to fall into the wrong hands. If you have not thought about computer security, now is the right time to start.
You are a normal home user with a basic computer at home- should you still be worried?
As long as you have a computer that is connected to the internet you should know that there is a certain level of vulnerability to be addressed. Most of the free content online as well as the paid content that you download have the possibility of harming your computer. Stick with choosing only reliable sources and secure software for your computer. Computer security is important because you often access your personal and professional email accounts through your computer. You might have a lot of personal photographs stored on the computer and financial data as well. So if your computer is compromised then there is the risk of losing all such sensitive data. Also when your computer is at risk every other gadget that you might connect with the computer is also exposed to similar risks.
So what should you do to protect your computer and the data stored in it?
Remember that a strong anti-virus software is essential for every computer. But your efforts do not end with buying an anti-virus software alone. When you are sure that your computer is secure, when you are sure that the network you use is secure then you can browse the internet in peace. Here are a few steps to take to ensure secure computing experience-
Your computer’s first wall of defense
A firewall is pretty much one of the best things that your computer can get. Check whether the firewall settings are turned on in your computer. Some have the tendency to turn the firewall off as there are some sites that do not load with the firewall turned on. But when you toggle the firewall off you are making it easier for the hackers to get into your computer. Check the best firewall settings for the operating system version installed in your computer. Also look for anti-virus software that comes with firewall settings.
An anti-virus software you can trust
There are many options when it comes to picking anti-virus software. There are those that come free and there are others that have free and paid versions. Malware detection rate is something that tells you about the effectiveness of the software. If you are looking for absolute protection if you have a lot of critical information to be secured then it is totally worth spending on a paid version of the anti-virus software provided it has a good track record. Look for one that doesn’t bog down your system performance. Anti-virus software that receives regular updates, one with a lot of practical features that are also easy to use, is the ones that are truly beneficial.
Update the software and your operating system
When you are prompted for updating software, or even a few quick updates for the operating system, do not simply ignore it or postpone it. Most of the frequent updates for the software are released with new security patches that are in line with the new types of threats. It is a good idea to change the settings so as to automatically look for updates.
Use reliable browsers
The web browser you use is one main interface that lies between you and the internet. Choose one that comes with regular security updates. Download the browser from the trusted application store. When you keep the browser up to date, the plugins should not be ignored as well. Keep a check on the number of plugins installed and the type of plugins you use and keep them all up to date.
Work on a secure password
Stop using simple passwords that can easily be cracked. As clichéd as, it might sound this is definitely one of the biggest blunders that leads to a lot of data leaks. When the systems demand you to set passwords with a mix of special characters and numbers it is for a reason. Avoid using the same password for all your email accounts and other login pages. It is indeed difficult to remember all the passwords. There are various password storing apps which can be secure with unique authentication methods. Pick one such app so that you do not forget your password and get locked out.
Click only when you know what lies ahead
There are too many distracting ads and banners popping up on the web pages. Do not click any of the ads unless you know the source of the ad. If you have the internet security feature turned on in the anti-virus software you might be able to see a security badge placed next to the secure sites in the search list. Stay away from potentially harmful sites. There are pages or ads that might prompt that you have won a reward or ones that talk about fancy discounts. These are the ones that you should totally stay away from. This also applies to the emails that you receive. Do not click suspicious links on the emails. Make it a point to report phishing emails.
Remember to log out and wind down
Even if you are using a computer in a secure location even when no one else can physically access your computer it is a good idea to log out from your account and emails when you are not using the computer. Use a secure password for the computer and ensure that you keep it locked when idle. Be wary of the information that you share on the internet even after you have a secure connection at home. Keep your computer free from all the freebies and software that contain too many ads or those that are not from trusted developers. These are a few things you could do to protect your computer at home.