(WHTM) — November 30 is National Computer Security day. Computer security is more important than ever, especially with hackers always looking to steal someone’s personal and highly sensitive data.
With all different types of computers, there are many ways to keep them the most secure they can be. Regardless of whether you have a PC or a Mac, the following tips from the University of California can be used on most desktop or laptop computers.
Don’t ever think that your computer cannot be a target of hackers. The tips below may save you a lot of headaches and money.
Keep software up to date
Installing software updates on your computer is crucial to maintain the highest level of cybersecurity. You can do this by making sure automatic updates are turned on for your operating system (OS). Both PCs and Macs have this option.
Make sure that whatever web browser you are using (Chrome, Firefox, etc.) also has automatic updates turned on. The same can be said with plug-ins, such as Flash Player and Java.
Be aware of phishing scams
Scammers and hackers use social engineering techniques to trick you into giving out sensitive information, such as social security numbers and bank account numbers. Double-check every email you receive. If there is something spelled wrong in the sender’s email address, this may be a scam.
Also, if something sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. Being aware of any email that wants personal and private information should be treated as suspicious. If you receive an email asking for sensitive information, delete it. You can also double-check with your bank to ensure how they ask for information such as a bank account number.
Never use the same passwords
This is a hard one to follow, but having the same password for every account you have can put you at risk. Many internet browsers such as Chrome use a password manager to remember all the passwords. Safari creates strong passwords automatically for new accounts you make, and can also remember them.
Never leave a computer unattended
Physical security is just as important as cybersecurity. Make sure if you are working in a public setting on a computer that you either take the device with you wherever you go, or you can protect your information by locking the screen. If you are using a desktop, always sign out or shut down the computer when it is not in use.
Safeguard protected data
To make sure your personal information is not being seen by others, always keep bank account numbers, social security numbers, and others protected. Do not use any sort of bank website on a public wifi network. This will ensure no one can see any banking or sensitive information that you are working on. Keep high-level data off any public computer, no matter how safe and encrypted the network may be.
Follow the tips above to insure the best protection for all of your electronic computer devices.