Be up to date, be paranoid and provide protection. It takes precautions to surf safely online. Here are five tips for keeping criminal and malicious programs away from your PC.
It hardly comes as a surprise to most that the network is packed with unpleasant programs that can force your PC to kneel.
Nor is it a secret that hackers and IT criminals dream of taking control of your computer and then emptying your online bank and sending spam from your mail account to all of your contacts.
Of course, you have taken your precautions to best protect your PC, but is that enough?
Here are five tips to help make your computer more secure.
1. Remember updates
It is important to have a fully updated computer. With Windows Update, you can automatically get the latest updates to Microsoft’s operating system, thereby closing any security holes.
However, hackers and IT criminals are increasingly using security holes in programs other than Windows to access your PC.
Therefore, it is important to regularly update software that you may not use so often, such as Adobe Acrobat that is used to open PDF files.
A program like Personal Software Inspector helps keep your PC up to date with the latest applications, but the software eats some resources from your PC. But sometimes security is more important than horsepower. You may just need to use the Online Software Inspector, where you do not need to install anything on your PC.
2. Use a proper passwords
Several studies have been carried out, which show that we are hammering non-inventive when it comes to passwords. Therefore, we often choose solutions such as 1234567, password or qwerty. It is easy to type in and easy to remember – but also easy to guess for an attacker.
At the same time, many commit the deadly sin to only use one password for everything from webmail to web bank. The sensible solution is of course to choose different passwords for your PC and for different web services.
Also, good advice – to make it difficult for someone to guess your passwords – is to select some where upper and lower case letters are mixed with numbers. The longer the word, the better. Of course, this does not make it easy to remember, on the other hand, the risk of someone accidentally guessing your password is negligible.
A smart way to create a password that makes sense, even if it consists of numbers and letters, is to change the letter o to 0 (zero) and i to 1 (one). For example: SeM1neSk0 (see my shoes)
You can use a password manager to keep track of your many different passwords. Read more here.
3. Install an antivirus program
You’re probably not so careless that you run without antivirus on your PC, right? There are many payment versions that act as the advanced bodyguard for the computer, but also free programs such as AVG Free and Microsoft Security Essentials act as a stopwatch for malware and other unpleasant snaps from the dark side of the web.
So remember to have an antivirus program on your PC – if you don’t want to pay, choose a free version – and remember to have the program update itself automatically.
4. Be critical
If something sounds too good to be true, then … well, you know the rest. Don’t be gullible. End, finish. When Mr. Mubuthu from Nigeria will suddenly be your friend and share 50 million euros with you, so just delete his mail.
You also do not let yourself be baffled by incredible offers on the web, where you can get a sparkling new iPhone for 300 kroner or another unrealistic amount.
And when you have to pay for something in an online store, keep an eye out for the icon for a padlock to appear in, for example, the address bar or at the bottom of the browser. It ensures that the connection is encrypted and no one can intercept your credit card information.
5. Be paranoid!
Finally, it is an excellent idea to turn up the paranoia. Don’t press attachments from recipients you don’t know, even if they are called something with FunnyVideo.exe …
And even if you receive files from your friends and family, it’s also okay to be paranoid over the content. For now, if their email account has been taken over by hackers.
So, if cousin Nick suddenly sends you strange e-mails with strange links and strange attachments, write or call him to confirm that the content is ok.