Looking inside your personal computer can probably tell strangers more about you than you let on to your best friend or sibling. After all, there are some things that you just might not want to share. Actively practicing safe computer usage is one of the steps you can take to ensure that your data is kept safe. Here are some questions you should ask to check if your computer is as secure as it could be.
Do You Have a Virtual Private Network?
A virtual private network, or VPN, is an encrypted tunnel that redirects your internet data so that it goes through a more secure channel than directly through your internet service provider. Your IP address will be hidden, and your data will be encrypted so that even if hackers intercept your data, they will not be able to decipher it. A VPN is the best tool to use if you need better privacy and security using public networks.
Do You Take Precautions on Public Wireless Networks?
If you are travelling or commuting, sometimes public wireless is all you have available to work with. If that has happened to you, make sure that you take some safety precautions. Due to the lack of encryption, public wireless networks are one of the most common places where the information you sent can be viewed and stolen. In addition, since users on the same network can share files, hacks can send your computer malicious files full of malware and viruses. If you are using a public wireless network, verify the network name before joining. Some hackers will set up a network with a similar name and the unwary end up on the fake network. In addition, you should turn off file sharing through your control panel.
Do I Comply with All Necessary Security Standards for My Job?
If you work in an industry with strict industry standards or legal requirements, you might be required to adhere to certain professional security standards such as PCI compliance, DFARS compliance, SSL, TLS, or other standards that might be unique to different industries. For example, DFARS is a set of protocols that the government of the United States requires you to meet in order to work with the US Department of Defense.
Are You Backing Up Your Files?
Sometimes security breaches are out of your control, but you can minimize any data breach by making backups of your files. There are various ways of backing up your data such as on USB drives, external hard drives, cloud storage, or network-attached storage. Don’t let security breaches catch you unaware; instead, establish a best practice of backing up your data on weekly or monthly intervals.
Computer security is essential in this society where security breaches have become more commonplace. These days, you can’t afford to not protect your data. Following set protocols at work and practicing safe computing habits will help keep your computer’s defenses high and your data safe.
Part of keeping your data safe is also making sure your phone is up-to-date. Read here about the July safety patch for the Samsung Galaxy A50.