Computers house so much of our personal data that it’s essential to set up protective measures in case of a cyber-attack or mechanical failure.
These five must-do steps dramatically increase the odds your computer (and your privacy) will remain safe from the latest online criminal activity and let you salvage your most important files if your computer becomes irretrievably infected.
1. Ensure you update your computer
Updating the software on your system, including the operating system, is an absolute necessity. If you don’t download new versions of programs like Adobe Flash, your computer is more susceptible to malware. Updates to your Windows or Mac operating system help address new threats.
2. Uninstall Java from your computer
Java is a program that websites used to incorporate into their systems but is rarely used now. Continuous security holes allowing malware to infect computers through Java makes it no longer safe to leave it on your system unless you absolutely need it.
3. Install malware protection
Computers are continuously under the threat of being infected by Trojans, viruses, keyloggers, spyware and adware. So, you need to have decent security software installed. It’s not a guarantee that your PC won’t be attacked since we have had several instances where software applications have failed to block attacks.
There are various security applications you can use to protect your computer like AVG, Avast, Norton Internet Security to mention but a few. Some of them have free account options while others need to be paid for so, choose what’s convenient for you.
4. Use strong passwords
A strong password should usually have 6 to 8 characters and you should not use one or two passwords for all the sites you visit.
If one of these sites get hacked, you’re at risk of exposing other accounts if the passwords are similar. Always ensure your password is strong, use a different one for each site or employ a password management system to track them all.
5. Backup your data
This is one of the most crucial steps to take in protecting your computer information. Always have a back up on an online storage service or on an external hard drive.
In case your system is attacked by malware and is beyond repair or it has been wiped, having a backup can save you a lot of stress. You can opt-in for online storage services like Mega, Dropbox and Google Drive or buy yourself a reliable external hard drive like Seagate or Western Digital.
Lawrence writes about tech, lifestyle, politics, business, crypto and occasionally entertainment. He writes for Newslibre and Spur Magazine while consulting with numerous international companies on strategy, community management and marketing.
He has contributed to the journalism, open source, film, youth, web, Andela and Mozilla communities.