In the last blog, we looked at some easy ways to optimize your computer's performance. Let's look at some easy ways to enhance your computer's security.
Update Your Passwords
A strong password helps protect your data against hackers. Make it a priority to change any weak or reused passwords.
When updating your passwords, avoid using dictionary words or a combination of words and numbers. Passwords like "qwerty" or "123456" are out!
A secure password should be anywhere between 12 to 16 characters and should include numbers, symbols, and upper and lower-case letters.
You probably have a lot of accounts to manage. It's easy to take shortcuts, like reusing the same password. You may not have the patience to create new passwords on your own.
A password manager can help you keep strong, unique passwords for all your accounts, log into websites automatically, and remind you to update your passwords.
Back-Up Your Data
Data loss can happen in many ways: hardware failure, a lost or stolen device, corrupted files, or a virus that encrypts it and holds it for ransom.
For the best computer security, it's important to back up your files. External and USB drives are portable and easy to use.
Also, cloud storage options like MEGA or pCloud are great, private options to store backups of your files.
Don't overpay for drives or cloud storage: determine how much space you need and go from there. You can always delete old files when they don't serve a purpose.
Watch For Phishing Attempts
Phishing is still the go-to for hackers. With phishing, hackers use emails to impersonate people or organizations.
Always check the sender of an email. Phishing scams usually try and make the “from” name look like it has come from a legit company.
Check the sender's address – a phishing email will be unlike what you're used to seeing. It may be a combination of letters and numbers.
A phishing scam will not use personal details such as first and last names. Sometimes spam emails will address others as Mr. and Mrs./Miss or just start as “Hello”.
Also, the phishing attempt may be grammatically incorrect and contain spelling errors. Official emails will be more formal.
Instead of clicking a link directly, log into the site in another tab. If the email is legit, you'll see the same notification when signing in.
You may want to include multifactor authentication to enhance your computer security.
Multi-factor authentication makes it harder for hackers to log in to accounts if they happen to get access to a username and password. Apps like Authy are great to use for this.
Passwords should be lengthy and unique. Avoid common words or phrases.
When opening emails, don't click, use your own link!
Opt for privacy-based browsers like Brave or Tor to protect browsing history.
Try using Brave Search instead of Google when searching for things.
And as always, keep your VPN handy so your internet traffic is hidden and encrypted.