5 Tips to Keep Your Home Computer Safe and Secure

  1. Never write down your password

Some people are in the habit of writing down their passwords on sticky notes and putting them on their monitor, desk, drawer, etc.  This makes the security of your password effectively worthless.

  1. Create a secure password for your user account

Many people create awful passwords such as “123456”, “password”, “qwerty”, “1234”, “baseball”, “football”, “letmein”, “abc123”, etc.  Those passwords are awful and I really do not understand why people create such passwords to begin with.

A good password contains no words found in the dictionary, has a mixture of numbers (1, 2, 3), letters (a, B, c), and symbols (!, @, #, $).

This is an example of a really good password:  [RO-#K^?9}htPtx

  1. Do not install random software from the Internet

A lot of software (mainly for Windows) contains something called spyware. Simply put, spyware allows the author of the software to snoop in what you are doing on your computer. There is a greater chance that obscure software (from an obscure source) will contain spyware, but of course that is not always the case.

Please note that while Windows may have more malware available to it than other operating systems out there, that does not mean that Windows is guaranteed to get a virus, nor is Windows necessarily easier to infect than other operating systems out there.

  1. Make sure your operating system’s firewall is on

A firewall is a piece of software that help police traffic to and from your computer system. Basically a firewall is your computer’s “border patrol”.

Even if you have a dedicated hardware firewall (a firewall that is separate from your operating system’s firewall; usually found on your Internet router like I have), it is still wise to leave your operating system’s firewall enabled for extra security.

  1. Keep your anti-malware software enabled and updated

Pretty much everyone who has used a computer knows what anti-virus software is and what is does. In case you don’t know, anti-virus software basically gives you the potential to know if malware is trying, has tried, or maybe even has successfully infiltrated your computer system.

More and more people are starting to do away with anti-virus software because “they don’t need it”. Well I personally see anti-virus software as a tool…a tool that helps secure a computer system. When someone says that they “don’t need anti-virus software”, I think of the example that I gave to someone a while back on the Internet:

“Let’s say you go around telling people that you don’t need to see a doctor to test for cancer, because you do not have cancer, nor will you ever get any. How do you have the potential to know that you do not have cancer, if you are not checked by a doctor? How do you know that you will never get any cancer at all? You don’t!”

Your logic would not make sense in that situation because you are assuming something as fact, when in fact you are just guessing! The same applies to someone who says that they “don’t need anti-virus software” because they “know that they won’t get any malware” on their computer system or “I know that I am careful, hence I don’t need anti-virus software”. Sorry people but that logic just doesn’t add up!

Posted in Computers, Internet and Servers, Operating Systems, Software