These computer security tips can help save your PC from becoming infected by malware. Most computers will get infected at least once in their lifespan. Your PC can be infected just by being connected to the Internet, without opening email or even visiting a single web page. The Windows Operating System has security holes, as do web browser and even third-party programs. Your PC is continuously being scanned by hackers and bots trying to compromise your computer and gain access to it.
These simple computer security tips can help you minimize the danger:
- Run an antivirus program and make sure it updates automatically.
- Make sure Windows patches are up to date and download and install automatically.
- Replace your old router with a new model.
- Make sure WPA-2 wireless encryption is being used.
- Create secure passwords and do not reuse passwords on multiple websites.
- Create a Windows administrators account and don’t use it.
- Always be wary of all emails.
- Never open email attachments.
- Never clink hyperlinks within emails.
Follow These Computer Security Tips
- Run an antivirus program and make sure it is up to date – You computer probably came with a trial antivirus program. Has it expired? Does it update itself automatically?
- Configure Microsoft Update to download and install critical patches automatically – Exploits are discovered each and every day. Do you have Windows Update configured to automatically update to install security patches?
- Replace your aging router – Sadly, may older routers are no longer updated and can easily be compromised by exploits.
- Configure your router to use WPA-2 wireless encryption – There’s nothing more useless than a router without encryption. You’re practically inviting people onto your network if you do not have wireless encryption configured.
- Create secure passwords and change them regularly – Your password should be a random mix of numbers, letters and symbols. Words in a dictionary can be guessed to cracked in seconds by software. It’s also important not to use the same password on multiple sites. A password manager like Lastpass can help.
- Create an Administrator account on your computer and then create a Standard User account – Use the Standard User account on a day-to-day basis instead of the Admin account. If you do get infected, a virus will have a harder time taking over your PC with minimal user rights.
- Do not open email from anyone you do not know, or emails that look suspicious – Getting an email is exciting! We know. But if you don’t know the person, send it to your SPAM box or if you do open it, do NOT click on any links within the email.
- Do not open email attachments unless you are expecting one – Call and ask the person who sent the email if they sent the email and included an attachment. Worms (viruses) can access a person’s email address book and send itself to every one of your contacts.
- Do not click on links from your credit card or banking institution in emails – Instead, manually type in the web address of your bank. Phishing scams are emails sent to people imitating large banks and other secure sites. You might unwittingly give a hacker your username and password for your bank account if you click a link in an email.
Computer Security Best Practices
While these computer security tips can help prevent unintentional infection, the responsibility ultimately falls on the user. Be suspicious of everything on the Internet. The bad guys are becoming more sophisticated and automated thanks to technology and the proliferation of broadband internet. If you need additional computer security tips, read our other computer security articles.