When using your PC everyday – whether it’s for work or personal use…or both – you probably don’t give much thought into your cyber security risks, especially when simply browsing online or checking in on what you’re friends are doing on social media.
However, you hold the key to keeping your stuff safe when online. Developing some really simple yet really important habits in terms of online safety can be the difference between being secure and being vulnerable. We’ve listed some things you can do to help improve your everyday PC security habits.
Upgrade your antivirus software
We’ve all been there where we’ve had a million and one things to do on our computer and the pop up that reminds us our antivirus software needs updating gets delayed or even ignored altogether. It might seem inconvenient and tedious but regularly upgrading your antivirus software is so vital, else it’s useless. Dell Endpoint Security touches on this, as does their video here.
Create strong passwords
Creating a strong and cryptic password is one of the best forms of defence against potential hackers. The best way to ensure your password is as strong as possible is to use a combination of characters/symbols, upper and lower case letters and numbers. Long passwords are also regarded as much stronger than shorter ones so think about this when creating one.
Lock your computer when you’re away from it
It seems pretty obvious, but when you’re using your laptop or PC in public, or even when at work, you should always lock it when you leave it, even if you’re only going to be gone for a few minutes, as this will be more than enough time for hackers to access your sensitive data.
Be vigilant when opening emails
This seems like quite an old tip now, but it’s still really important and it’s still as relevant as ever. When opening your emails, it’s important that you think before you click onto links. Most viruses and links created by hackers will look completely normal and harmless, so there’s often no way of knowing if it’s going to create a problem for you or not. You can hover over a URL to find the end destination which can be useful, or just avoid clicking on links from unknown sources.
Be careful when using public WIFI
It goes without saying that using public WIFI can put your data at risk of hacking, so think carefully about what sites you access when using WIFI in public, as more often than not, these types of networks won’t be secure.
Use social media with caution
Social media is a great way to keep in touch with family and friends and to find out what’s going on in the world, but it’s also making computer/PC hacking a lot easier for criminals. It’s essential therefore that you take some safety precautions when using the different social media channels. There’s a useful article here with tips for staying safe on social media.