3 Ways to Tie Your Camel
In keeping with our commitment to promote cyber-security awareness in 2018, and to keep the topic from slipping to the dark and forgotten recesses of our minds… today’s top 3 list.
Anyone could compile such a list by simply googling “3 ways to keep your computer secure.” What we find interesting is that, time and again, the same recommendations pop-up. Sure their positions on the list change, but the same things are on the list. And you should do them.
If you lack the tools to make any of these things happen, then please contact your IT pro (or INTECH if you’re looking for a pro). There are cost effective ways to accomplish all of these things—free ways even!
1. Back Up Your Data
To put it plainly: there are only 2 types of people on this beautiful blue orb: those who have lost data, and those who will lose data.
Backing up your data consistently lands in the top 5 lists of the things every computer user should be doing. Backing up your data protects you in the event of catastrophic hardware failure. It also helps if you fall prey to any number of cyberattacks which are increasing in frequency and severity. You can do your back-up manually by transferring important documents to an external hard drive, or using services like VEEAM Endpoint, Acronis (and many other offerings). Freeware is available, and you can buttress these services with paid support and add-ons.
Any back-up advice would be incomplete without the following: Once you are backing things up, test it. Make sure it is working as expected. Mid-crisis is not the time to learn whether or not your efforts are effective!
2. Check Your Firewall
A firewall is designed to keep the bad actors out, without impacting your computer’s usability. Firewalls come in many shapes and sizes though not all of them are created equal. For this tip, we are aiming at the simplest of options—the software firewalls built-in to your operating systems. If you own a Windows-based system, just go to your control panel and type “firewall” into the search box. If your firewall is “on” or “connected,” then you’re good to go. Mac users should open “system preferences,” then “security,” then “firewall.” Even these simple firewalls will boost your security stack, and they don’t cost a thing!
3. Stay Away from Rogue Websites
I am not that tech guy that will try to tell you which browser to use. This day and age, you should use the technology you want, so long as it fits your needs and workflow. I am that tech guy that will tell you that whatever browser you do use, there are extensions that will make your surfing much more secure. So many extensions that it is beyond the scope of this post. That said look at this: Ublock Origin. Even with extensions doing the heavy-lifting, you need to be aware of rogue websites. Spotting a rogue website can be difficult, but there are a few things you can do to hone your skills. If you need to enter credentials of any sort, then look for a green lock in the address bar and the code prefix “https://”
Malwarebyes, and many other antivirus/antimalware solutions offer browser extensions that will go a long ways towards fleshing out the rogues and protecting unsuspecting surfers.
The best tip in this department is arguably this: do not click links that show-up in emails, unless you are certain of the sender’s identity and you trust them. The best option is to look at the link, then manually visit the site and navigate to the desired location. A link may tell you it is going to one place when in fact it goes elsewhere: Click here to see the www.most-amazing-kitty-cat-loving-robot.com