While you are unlikely to manage sensitive work-related data on your personal devices, you do access and manage your personal data on those devices. Because of this, you need to keep your computer and other personal devices as safe as you make your devices work. Here are some tips to make sure your computer is safe.
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You must use security tools that are compatible with your operating system, or OS. This ensures that all your software, applications and programs are coordinated. For example, you would only use a tool like Microsoft MDR with devices that run Windows, not products that run Linux. Each OS has unique security advantages and disadvantages. Windows is a more commonly used OS, so there are many cybersecurity attacks and exploitation of its vulnerabilities, but its security products are more intuitive for the average computer user and more widely available. In contrast, Linux is a more exclusive OS so it’s not as targeted as Windows, but fewer security features are compatible with it so users have less choice.
2. Remember safe browsing habits
Whatever operating system your computer is using, Microsoft, Linux, or an alternative, you need to keep in mind basic safe browsing methods. Use password managers and multi-factor authentication if possible. Don’t share any personal information online that you don’t need. Look for phishing attempts, email scams and suspicious links. Back up your data and clear your history, cache and cookies regularly.
3. Encrypt your network and sensitive data
Encryption is an even more useful security tool. You can use it on any piece of data, on the physical device or on your internet connection itself. Devices that encrypt your internet connection create an encrypted tunnel between your device and your internet network. A good example of such a tool is VPN, or Virtual Private Network. Encrypting your device will protect any data it stores in case you lose it. People who try to open the device or access files should not be able to do so. Data is usually encrypted at the file or folder level.
4. Invest in powerful anti-malware and anti-virus software
Make sure your computer has appropriate security software, especially anti-malware and anti-virus programs, installed. Keep running these programs regularly to scan your device, quarantine any potential threats and notify you of threats. Anti-virus software specifically targets viruses, which are malicious programs that can corrupt or destroy files. Anti-malware software targets a wide range of malicious programs, including spyware and ransomware, that can be designed to do anything from collecting your data without your knowledge to holding your data for ransom. You also need to invest in other security tools, such as firewalls.
5. Update all software regularly
As software ages, hackers look for ways to circumvent its security protections and find loopholes in its security. To overcome this, software developers are constantly creating patches and updates that you can apply to your software. This will help ensure that your software stays secure. You can set these security updates to be automatically downloaded to your device when they become available, but you may need to use them manually. Make sure you set up automatic downloads so you don’t miss an update. You need to make sure that patches can be applied automatically to your software or constantly check for new updates so you can use them by hand.
Use the security tools and strategies that work best for you. Think about the types of accounts and sensitive data you access on your device and on your home network, then figure out what security measures are recommended for the data.
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Last Updated on July 8, 2022.