To keep your computers safe from intruders and protect your data, you need to remember the simple rules of computer security. It’s essential, even if you watch movies on Netflix or play roulette online on a protected website, We’ve gathered some useful tips to help keep your personal information and your PC up and running.
Enable Two-factor Account Authentication
Set up two-factor authentication. This is a more effective method of protecting accounts. To log into your account, you will need not only a username and password, but also a special confirmation code that comes via SMS.
With two-factor authentication, you can protect not only your account, but also your email address. For example, Gmail offers this possibility.
If you want to find out which email address has ended up in the hands of fraudsters, use the Have I Been Pwned tool. The site’s technology matches your information with hundreds of data leaks. If you find your email address in the database, you should delete it and create a new one with full security.
Create Strong Passwords and Change Them Regularly
Create strong passwords for your accounts. Special password generators like Random Password can help.
Keep the following rules in mind when creating passwords:
- Use numbers, letters, different cases and symbols.
- Never send passwords to your friends or yourself in private messages. Don’t mention them anywhere on the Internet.
- Create a unique password for each site, and use software that generates and stores them in your head so you don’t have to keep them all in your head.
- Change your passwords regularly. Yes, it’s annoying, but the security of your data depends on it. You shouldn’t use the same password you had in 2016. It is advisable to change them once a year, in the calendar you can put a reminder of this need.
You can safely store your passwords in the Dashlane app. Information there is protected with two-factor authentication, PIN and biometrics (Face ID), and a built-in darknet scanner checks your data for leaks. There’s also a VPN to encrypt your traffic and hide your IP address.
Use Browser Extensions
To surf the Internet safely, install browser extensions that block ads, banners, pop-ups, ads and other junk sites. For example, the AdBlock Plus extension for Chrome.
Also, turn off persistent notifications based on your interests from Apple, Google and Twitter. Sometimes sites offer ways to disable data collection, but more often than not, you have to do it yourself in the settings.
Use Incognito Mode on Public Computers
When logging into our personal accounts from public computers, we sometimes forget to log out of social media and then discover actions we didn’t do. To keep this in mind, use Incognito mode in your browser. This is turned on with a combination of CTRL + SHIFT + N.
Install an Antivirus Program
A computer virus is malicious software capable of making copies of itself and injecting itself into the code of other programs, system memory areas, and boot sectors.
Viruses are the reason for annoying pop-up ads and personal information leakage.
The safest way to protect your computer from viruses is to use antivirus and antispyware programs which work in real-time mode. Also, try not to click on banners and links that look suspicious.
Keep Devices and Apps Updated
Operating systems, websites, and apps get new security features and security improvements with updates. You can update your devices automatically or manually. On an iPhone, for example, you can enable this feature in Settings.
Avoid Untrusted Software
Every strange app or browser extension that kids might accidentally install is a potential privacy and security threat. These programs track both location, data, and personal information without your consent.
Only install apps from official developers. Also, periodically review your list of installed programs and if there are any questionable resources there that you didn’t install, uninstall them.
Put a Screen Lock on Your Device
To prevent anyone from using your personal information or saved bank card details if you lose your device, set a screen lock. Use a strong biometric password (Touch ID or Face ID).
Enable remote phone tracking. For example, the iPhone has a “Locator” feature in Settings that you can use to quickly locate your devices (so you can track your iPod, Apple Watch, Mac computer, and AirPods).
Turn on Laptop Encryption
If a malefactor examines your laptop, he will find personal photos and phone numbers, read messages in social networks, and copy card details from browsers. To secure your computer in case it is lost or stolen, use data encryption programs such as BitLocker, TrueCrypt, or VeraCrypt.
Don’t forget to back up the information you keep on your computer. If something happens to it, you can always recover your data. Get in the habit of manually transferring information to your hard drive once a month or using services like BackBlaze. On smartphones, you can set up automatic uploading of important data to cloud storage.