Working to prevent malware and online scams from affecting your computer can be a challenge, to say the least.
Every email you receive would need to be opened with suspicion, public WiFi networks would have to be avoided, and your list of passwords would appear to be titanic.
Staying safe online is incredibly important, especially when using your computer for banking, billing, personal filing, and more.
Strengthening the security of your computer can be achieved simply by being aware of the following…
- Multi-factor authentication (MFA)
The primary purpose of MFA is to keep you safe even if a hacker has stolen a password. When signing in to an account, many programmes will request you to prove your identification. Typically, this is achieved when a user confirms their identity in which a computer user is only granted access after successfully presenting two or more pieces of evidence.
An example of MFA ‘in action’ is when banking apps would send a verification code to your mobile device so you can log in to an app on a smartphone. Also, GMail are recognised as a secure service for communication as they use MFA.
- HTTPS on every website
HTTPS was created to facilitate safer connections – it’s as simple as that. When using a website, it is good practice to check ‘HTTPS’ is visible before the URL.
Even though many websites still haven’t adopted the security feature, meaning those who haven’t will have ‘HTTP’ appearing before the URL, if you are serious about remaining secure then keep an eye out for this.
SUGGESTION: A browser plugin available for download, HTTPS Everywhere, can support with protecting your computer. This plugin will inform you when you are using a website which does not operate on ‘HTTPS’
TIP: DO NOT input any personal information onto a website which does not have HTTPS with a padlock symbol.
- Software updates
Updating your device at every opportunity is a vital step to ensuring your data is secure. By updating regularly, you are less vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
We understand updating a computer can be inconvenient on occasions, especially when you log-on to a computer to use it for anything besides updating, but overcome the inconvenience and protect yourself.
Updates are important because they include critical patches to security holes.
- Password managers
Anything linked to your name should have a unique password, which is at least 12 characters in length, attached to it. But let’s be realistic here – is this something you actually do?
If you’re answer is ‘no’ then a password manager can support you with ensuring you make the change today. Password managers are an effective tool to store and secure existing passwords for your various accounts.
Password managers also generate new passwords which are strong thus more challenging to hack.
- Disable programmes at risk of being hacked
There are numerous programmes installed on computers which have been known to be vulnerable to hackers. Adobe Flash Player, for example, has been hacked numerous times it has been labelled as ‘dangerous’ by many computer geeks.
Even though many websites may notify you when Flash Player is not installed, you may find it safer to not use it altogether. Generally, anything downloaded from the internet leaves a risk of your computer being hacked. Be vigilant when using websites – and don’t forget HTTPS!
For details on how Syn-Star can support with keeping your IT secure, get in touch via our ‘contact us’ page.