Keeping your computer secure is essential to your online internet safety. It minimizes the risks of catching viruses and having spyware installed on your system. Computer security has to take a variety of paths and you should pay attention to all of them to maximize your own safety. With that in mind we’ve put together a list of internet safety tips dedicated to keeping your computer secure. The funny thing is, Internet safety tips are usually easy to implement but are often ignored.
One of the best internet safety tips is to use your firewall to stop people entering your computer system from outside your location. It also stops programs accessing the internet from your computer if they shouldn’t be. A firewall is active as standard on most computers but you should regularly check that yours is active to avoid having your system compromised. Also your router should have its own firewall and you can enable this by entering the settings by finding the router IP address and logging in.
Passwords are vital to all computer safety. You should have your computer access itself protected and you should have separate passwords for every online account you make. A strong passwords needs to be a mix of alpha numeric capitals such as 45Te9R7G7 to make it as hard as possible for anyone to break.
8. Encrypted files
Most people do not make use of this internet safety tip and do not realize that you can encrypt files on your home computer fairly easily. Simply right click the folder and choose properties. Here you can find a variety of protection options. This makes files harder to be read by third parties but for added security store important documents on a USB or other portable storage device that is not accessible from your home network.
How to Encryt a file
1. Go to the where the file is stored.
2. Right click on the file and choose properties from the menu.
3. On the General tab click on Advanced.
4. Tick the box next to “Encrypt contents to secure data”
5. Press OK.
7. Update browser for internet safety
Over half of all internet users still use out dated browsers to access the internet. These browsers will not have been updated to the latest security threats and are subsequently much easier for hackers to compromise. It is a good idea to update your browser as soon as an update is made available to maximise your protection.
6. Update software
Out dated software is one of the most overlooked security threats to home computers. Much software accesses the internet and if it is doing so in an out dated way it too is easier to compromise. Hackers often created “back doors” into people’s systems that use out dated software so make sure everything you are using is regularly updated.
5. Protecting your internet connection
It is amazing how many people still use no network security despite the ease with which internet security can be set up and instantly help with internet safety. If you are using wireless broadband then you need make sure you have a security key for it. Simply run set up on your router and choose the security options you want to adjust. Choosing a strong password will stop people hijacking your internet and being able to track your internet use.
4. Updating your antivirus software
New viruses are found on an HOURLY basis and virus removal software is updated on average two or three times a week. If you are using antivirus software (which you should be) then you need to update it at least once a week to protect yourself from new threats. I personally use Avast as I cannot risk a virus infection because my computer is used for important business.
3. Virus scans
Along with the above it’s amazing how many people don’t actually scan there computers regularly. If you use the internet regularly then you need to virus scan regularly. We would recommend you run a full scan at least once a week if you use the internet for more than 5 hours a week.
2. Safe browsing
Safe browsing is essential to keeping your computer secure. If you regularly visit dodgy websites, click advertisements and stream content then you are exposing yourself to high risk. If you think a site doesn’t seem quite right then leave and browse elsewhere. Always search through a reputable search engine and be wary of clicking advertisements.
1. Avoiding downloads
The biggest source of viruses and spyware online comes from downloads both legal and illegal. Whenever you are presented with the option to download something you should make sure you scan it for viruses and also check that the website is reputable by researching it through a search engine. With file transfer and sharing sites you should be extremely vigilant and generally should avoid downloading anything that is illegal.
The best way to keep secure is to treat your computer as if it is a plant! Attend to it regularly and care for it, clean it (software and hardware/ inside and out), and feed it the best nourishment in secure updates to maintain your hard-drive health.
Install a program to your computer!
A software program will not upgrade your memory but it will clean out all the junk files, detect Malware, delete unused registry keys, Automatic Driver updates, and more. Not taking advantage of the latest updates and security patches can leave your computer vulnerable to attacks. At the moment I am using PC Matic to maintain everything for me. This software is amazing and has won a number of top awards. You can get a free scan for your computer to see how it works before you buy.
This blog is full of information about how to use the internet safely. Alternatively consult the Vodafone Parents Guide for resources that you can take, and information on safe ways to protect yourself, and children online.