Computer Security is a hot topic and it will continue to be so for the forseeable future. OK, you have antivirus installed. Is that enough? Probably not. Here are some tips for keeping safe.
As usual, feel free to suggest topics which you would like to see covered in an upcoming newsletter or on the Grundig IT news page, which can be found at under the News tab at www.GrundigIT.com
As Always, Happy Computing!
Turn on automatic update and leave it that way. Windows releases security updates on the 2nd Tuesday of each month and these should be applied immediately. More information on Windows Update can be found here.
Mac users should also apply updates when they are made available.
Install antivirus and make sure it is receiving updates. Windows Defender is included with Windows 8 and Windows 10. Microsoft Security Essentials is a free download for Windows 7.Malwarebytes is a tool that should be used in addition to antivirus. The free version is OK. Run it at least once per month and remove all threats detected.
Use complex passwords (containing letters, numbers and punctuation). Do not use the same password everywhere, especially on banking or financial sites. Try to figure out a way to remember passwords without having to write them down.
If remembering passwords is to much, consider LastPassor a similar password manager.
Backup your computer and any mobile devices. Online backup is great, especially for laptops or other devices that might break or get stolen. Mozy and Carbonite are easy-to-use inexpensive online backup tools that are relatively inexpensive.
To create a full image backup of your entire PC or laptop, I recommend Acronis True Image 2016. This enables restore of individual files or of the entire machine (operating system, programs, settings and data) to a new computer.
Turn on the Windows Firewall or the firewall included with your security suite (but never both at the same time). The firewall prevents nasty stuff from getting through to your PC from online. Firewalls can be configured to allow individual applications, so they shouldn’t be preventing you from doing anything that your want to do.
If you think your laptop may end up in the wrong hands, do not choose to remember any passwords to online sites that you visit. On my laptop, I choose to remember no passwords. There would be too much access to too many sensitive sites for anyone who found it and used it.
Be very careful when reading your email. Phishing scams are common. Never click any links to financial sites. Instead, open a browser window and type in the address by hand.
Also be careful when opening attachments. ZIP files can be especially dangerous, as they could contain many types of dangerous files.
Most malware gets into computers these days from unsafe browsing. Be careful of the sites that you visit. Also be careful not to click any unprompted popup windows that may open.
Common scams these days involve sites that claim that you have malware on your PC and offer links or phone numbers to call in order to get rid of it. They then offer to fix it for a price. (I have known of people who have paid up to $200 and received nothing positive for it.)