Nowadays, you can’t go anywhere without finding someone on their phone or computer. Keeping up with social media, news articles, blogs, and emails are just some of the many ways people stay connected to the world around them. Since computers have become such integral parts of daily life, it’s important to keep your computer safe. Fortunately, there are several easy ways to do just that.
1. Antivirus Software
You can’t always trust the websites you visit or the email attachments you open. Even if you think they look legitimate, it’s better to play it safe and use some type of antivirus software on your computers.
An antivirus program will scan everything on your computer looking for malware and viruses that could affect its performance or your safety. The particular program you choose will depend on a number of factors, including whether you’re looking for virus protection for Mac, Windows, or another type of computer. Not only will this software protect your device from outside threats, but it can also identify the severity of any ongoing problems to give you a better idea of what should be done next.
You should still use caution though, because if you’re not careful about which programs you download or what sites you visit, your antivirus software may not be enough to keep things safe.
2. Regularly Update Your OS
Every piece of software needs to be updated regularly in order for it to continue functioning correctly. When updates are available for your operating system, you should definitely take the time to install them.
While it’s tempting to skip this step and leave your computer as is, any updates that are available could include important security patches that were created in response to identified threats. By continuing to use your current version of the operating system (OS), you’re leaving those threats open for someone else to discover. Updates are also often released for the express purpose of fixing various bugs that could potentially affect your computer’s performance or cause you other problems down the line.
These are especially important because they provide a way for users to quickly fix their computers even if they didn’t catch an issue before it became a problem. A lot of this will also depend on the type of OS you have. Some systems are updated more often than others.
3. Password Protection
You may have a difficult time getting your computer to automatically log you in without entering a password, but this extra security measure is usually worth the hassle.
There are several different types of passwords you can use on your computer. The most common one is a standard password that comes with your device when you first purchase it. In recent years, however, more people are starting to make use of PIN codes. A PIN code is four digits long and is usually used in conjunction with your standard password (but not always). A fingerprint or retina scanner may also be available with certain devices, like laptops or tablets.
These types of security options come in handy if you’d rather not enter a lengthy password every time you want to use your device. They can be a hassle if someone else needs access, though.
4. Locking Your Screen
No matter how safe you think your computer is, there’s always the chance someone could find it and get into it if they’re determined enough. Someone could pick up your device without you noticing or gain access to your home when you’re not there. To help prevent this from happening, make sure your screen automatically locks after a certain amount of time (usually around 30 seconds or less). This will help keep your information out of the wrong hands even if you walk away for a few minutes. The amount of time before your screen automatically locks can vary depending on the device you’re using.
5. Two-Factor Authentication
Even when you have your screen set to lock after a few seconds, it can be easy for someone to access your device if they know the password. Two-factor authentication is another option worth considering. If enabled, two-factor authentication means you’ll need something in addition to your password before you’re allowed into your computer or online account (like an app on your phone).
6. Back-Up Your Data
Whether you have a smartphone, tablet, gaming system, or computer, the best way to ensure your data stays safe is by backing it up. There are several ways you can back up your files, but a direct connection to an external hard drive is probably going to be one of the most convenient options in most cases. This will allow you to save all your data directly onto an external disk that can be easily unplugged and taken with you wherever you need it to go.
Keeping your computer safe is important for many reasons. Most of us have our whole lives stored online, and that information is valuable to us. By taking the necessary steps to protect the data we keep on our devices, we can make sure our information stays safe even if someone were to gain access to our system. Additionally, keep everything on your computer regularly updated is a great way to take care of the device in general.