When we think about cyber security for our personal devices we know to cover the important bases. These include getting proper security software, backing up your data, and using having strong passwords for our accounts.
If you are doing those things you are already on the right path to ensuring your safety online. However, there are several basic things that many users are not doing that are putting their computers at risks. Many are some of the simplest steps that users often do not think about.
Here we list five security mistakes that you probably miss and should stop doing right now.
- Not backing up your information in multiple places
Many users are assuming now that the cloud has arrived they can store their information there with no need to back it up anywhere else. This idea is incorrect; you should be backing up your information in several ways.
Some quick and easy ways to do so is by emailing yourself copies of you work, investing in a quality external hard drive and using at least one other cloud option like drobox or Google Drive. This allows you to make sure that you have at least 1 or 2 viable copies available to you in case there is a security breach or system crash.
- Installing that Virus checker
If you spend any time at all online then without a doubt you have received a pop up telling you that your computer is at risk and that you need to download a “virus checker”. But more often than not, that notification is coming from the virus or malware itself.
It may seem like simple advice but many of these types of malware have gone to great lengths to trick you into thinking they are the real deal. Make sure you are only installing proper security software from certified security providers and that you are running the proper scans needed to keep your OS safe.
- Forgetting to upgrade your security software
Often users think “Great, I have installed my security software, I am good to go”. Wrong. While installing security software is key, it doesn’t do you any good if it isn’t up to date. Many users forget to update their programs or let the warranties run out and do not renew them.
Updates are necessary because they protect your computer from any of the latest security issues. If you are someone who simply forgets then set up your software to automatic update; this usually happens when you shut down your computer when you are finished using it for the day.
- Using the same secured password for everything
Pretty much everything on the web needs a password these days, and it seems like every site has its own guidelines for acceptable passwords. It may be the easiest thing to create one password that fits the “secure password guidelines” and use that one for all your accounts because you don’t want to have to remember multiple eight + digit passwords with many character variations.
Please stop doing this, because you are putting yourself at risk. There are now several password managers out there that will create secure passwords for you and keep them all in one spot for easy access. A simple search will guide you in the right direction and many of them are free.
- Leaving your Webcam live
You may have recently seen that picture of Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook HQ with his laptop out. If you look closely you will see that he has tape covering both his audio port and his web camera. That may seem extreme but it is a smart thing to do.
Hackers are getting creative and hacking into webcams to spy on users and even record important conversations. Think about just placing a piece of black tape over your camera/audio port when you are not using it or at least figure out how to disable them. Definitely make sure your camera isn’t running if you are not using it at the time.
Have any other concerns about your computer usage? Get in touch with an IT support specialist such as Syntax IT Support London and get the best advice from trained IT professionals.