When it comes to security, people will do just about anything to keep their dwellings and belongings safe. From padlocks to sophisticated security camera systems, security is not taken lightly in a typical household or business. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for computers and cybersecurity. Due largely in part to the lack of knowledge and misinformation that still exists in the realm of technology, computer security is not given the proper importance by most people who use them.

When you think about how much we rely on our computers for everyday use, as well as for highly sensitive information storage and transfer, this is extremely problematic. The good news, security measures can be instated at any time. If you’re ready to protect the safety of your electronic information, here are the 7 best tips to ensure computer security.

1. Always Update

Here is a thought: when a computer is out of date or operating with an older system, the number of security holes is staggeringly high. Though it may be somewhat of an annoyance, the more current your system and software are, the safer your computer is. The same is true for all web browsers and plug-ins, however, the source and type of update should be scrutinized as well. If an update is downloaded from an untrustworthy site or is in its Beta or testing phase, you should stay well clear.

2. Limit Access

The easiest thing you can do to protect your computer security is to limit access. This means that you should know who is using your computer at all times, and make sure whoever has access to your computer is reliable. It’s also worth noting that physical access is a very narrow scope in a digital world. Limiting what information you have online, what kind of attachments you accept, and even what can be copied and saved from your computer, will all help boost security.

3. Be Aware

Being alert and aware is a necessary trait when engaging in just about anything digitally. With phishing scams and hackers getting smarter and more subtle every day, it’s important to think critically about everything you open or reply to on the internet. If an email looks like it may be spam- don’t open it. If someone is acting irregularly or asking for personal information, playing it safe is always better than falling victim to frauds and getting information or money stolen.

4. Security Software

Sometimes beefing up your computer’s security with some software is the best action you can take to defend your information. Entrepreneurs and businesses in New York swear that anti-virus and malware protection can often be an extremely effective safeguard against negative external factors, especially when dealing with customer data. Although it is true you can source some useful online apps, for this, it’s recommended to leave it to the professionals. The professionals behind this IT support in Manhattan suggest that reviewing various software is a must to find one that suits your specific protection needs. If you’re the type of person that likes to be as prepared as possible, this is a strongly suggested security step.

5. Password Protect

Password protection is one of the most popular forms of computer security for a reason- it works. When doing anything involving private information you should be password protecting files and even requiring a password for something as simple as logging on to your computer. This simple step will deter malicious users as long as your password management is strong. It’s easy to reuse the same password out of laziness or for fear you’ll forget multiple ones. However, this significantly weakens the strength of the security provided and will leave you exposed if an account is cracked, especially if that password has been used on several accounts.

6. Keep Informed

All too often, computer security breaches go unnoticed because there are no alerts or emails sent out when needed. This is true with many online apps, as it’s not yet common practice to automatically inform users of unusual activity on accounts or browsers. To ensure you’re taking immediate action when suspicious messages are sent, or logins from unknown locations are completed, you must set up all possible text and email alerts. Monitoring for a breach is far easier than trying to repair the aftermath of one long passed.

7. Encrypt

By definition, encrypting is the act of converting your data or information into a special cipher or code to prevent unauthorized access. Though it sounds especially high-tech, the process is more basic than one would assume. With the help of a variety of applications, one can easily convert their files or communications. The mere fact that your information has been encrypted will be enough to scare the majority of malicious users off and make them think twice about attempting to breach your computer.

Enhancing computer security might seem unnecessary, but as more and more information goes online, the more ill-intent takes place behind screens, and the more sophisticated hackers and viruses become. It may take a little extra work, but by being vigilant you can do a lot to safeguard your computer and your privacy. Implementing some or all of the tips above is a great way to embark into the world of computer security, and begin making your digital safety a priority.

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