November 30th isn’t just the last day before the festive month of December, it’s also Computer Security Day.
The annual awareness day started in 1988, when computers were starting to become more commonplace and the internet was in its infancy (Google recently celebrated its 20th birthday, an anniversary shared in common with Nitec).
Fast forward 20 years and computers, electronic devices and smartphones all make our lives easier on a daily basis by making communication faster, more convenient and more efficient. However these advantages also bring with them security and privacy issues, and issues like identity theft, fake frauds and ransomware viruses, among many others, can make our online experiences challenging.
As your IT partner, your security is of paramount importance to us here at Nitec. We have a robust and comprehensive security policy that we implement for customers under our fully managed service contracts. However, we know that security goes beyond the confines of the offices, so here are a number of quick and easy steps to you can follow to ensure your personal machines at home and outside of the office are kept secure.
Update all your Software
Take the time to make sure your computer software is up to date, that you have antivirus software installed and running, and that all unused programmes are removed. For Windows users, it’s also a good idea to enable Windows Updates and turn on your Windows Firewall if it isn’t already on.
Protect your Passwords
Use strong passwords for everything, including your computer login, and never share or write your password down, or store your passwords on your web browser. Instead, download a useful password manager app like LastPass to securely store and manage your passwords in an encrypted format.
Two–factor authentication also creates an additional layer of protection by sending a verification code to your phone after you attempt to log in – a hacker may be able to access your account by stealing or guessing your password, but they won’t get far if they don’t have your phone.
(Int)ERR(Net) on the Side of Caution
Use caution when browsing the internet. Keep an eye out for suspicious links and attachments you come across, be it in your email account, social media channels or via a search result, and make sure temporary internet files are periodically removed.
Use Secure Networks
Be careful about where you’re logging in from – connecting to the internet via a public Wi–Fi connection can expose you to hackers and put your computer and data at serious risk. Prevent this by only logging on to secure networks. If this is your home wireless network, make sure it is secured as well.
Back Up and Lock Up
Your computer contains a wealth of information and losing your data can be devastating. Make sure important data is regularly backed up to a secure location (either on a sturdy external drive or to a cloud drive), along with any other files and photos you wouldn’t want to lose.
Last but not least, make sure you log off the computer when you’re no longer using it. Logging off secures your computer and files from people who are not authorised to see them.