How to keep your computer and data safe?

Data on a computer can be very valuable. They can be about your work, family, children. So that they do not get lost and fall into the hands of third parties, or are not damaged, it is definitely worth taking care of appropriate security. How can you maximize the security of your equipment? And how to avoid cybercriminals? Look here for some practical tips.

There are many ways to improve the security of your data and computer. Some of them you probably already know, others may be completely new to you. However, the important thing is that many of the methods and tools presented below do not require any additional payment, you can implement them completely for free. Moreover, they will be useful both for private users and business owners.

How to ensure data security?

1) Install anti-virus software

Installing antivirus software seems to be essential, but fewer and fewer people are interested in it. This is because it is not always effective. However, this does not mean that it is not worth installing it – it is better to protect your computer at least minimally than not at all.

Antivirus software should protect the hardware against classic viruses and spam. In addition to installing it, it is worth using it regularly, specifically – scanning individual files from time to time. For example, if you don’t remember installing a program, be sure to block its access to the Internet and scan it with an anti-virus. In a situation where it does not detect anything, you can easily unblock the program. If you don’t want to invest in paid programming, you can install a free antivirus – but it’s important to keep it up-to-date. 

2) Only download files from trusted sites

Do not download files from unverified sources – this is, among others, o torrents, warez and websites with illegal software. Why? Ethical issues aside, there are times when you install these types of files on your computer and you download a virus by the way. What’s more, even if you decide to download a file or program from a legitimate source, it is worth scanning it using an antivirus program. It happens that infected files appear even there.

3) Install programs carefully

Here it is the same as with downloading files, you should not install programs from unreliable sites. It is also important to carefully read the content that appears in the next steps of the installation. It often happens that – when installing one program – we also download another one, which will show us tiresome ads. It also happens that we download additional, unnecessary browser plugins. In a large number of cases, these are not viruses, but tools that interfere with everyday computer use.

4) Use public Wi-Fi carefully

If you don’t need to use public Wi-Fi, such as in hotels, shopping malls, airports, hospitals, etc., then don’t do it. As a rule, these are unsecured networks that are easy prey to hackers. Especially opt out of logging in to your bank account and other sites where a password is required.

Definitely try to use your mobile internet, portable router or USB modem. However, if you need to use public Wi-Fi, we recommend using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) that will encrypt your connection, mask your activity, hide your location and create a fake IP number, and thus provide you with much more privacy.

However, if you are not using a VPN, make sure that your Wi-Fi has a security standard of at least WPA-2. Networks secured with WEP or WEP2 protocols are the weakest and most vulnerable to attacks by cybercriminals. However, they are public and available to everyone, so it’s very easy to crack them. Some do it in as little as minutes using free software. WPA-2 is also not 100% secure, but it is much more secure than WEP or WEP2.

5) Enter a strong password

It is a simple and effective way to protect your data. Hackers usually steal data from accounts whose passwords are very easy to crack. Therefore, they should consist of upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters (+ – ,. = _ {} [] ;: ”\ /?>), Preferably when they are mixed up. We also recommend that they be at least 12 characters long. Fortunately, many systems and portals now force users to create more complex passwords.

6) Use AppLocker

AppLocker is a Microsoft tool that allows you to block the launch of various applications, scripts, installers – you just need to impose appropriate restrictions on them. For example, you can block selected browsers from turning on in this way. At the moment, this tool is only available on Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Education. To run them, go to: Local Security Policy -> Application Control Policy -> AppLocker.

7) Backup your data

If you are going to travel with a laptop, make a backup, also known as a “backup”. It may happen that someone steals your computer or you lose it, and thus protect yourself against possible data loss.

However, backups should be made not only when you frequently travel with your computer – you can also lose data as a result of a hacker attack or simple flooding with coffee. Many laptop owners have already found out how difficult it is to recover the files they need in these situations. Backup can be performed, for example, using the operating system tools, a special program, in the cloud or on a dedicated server. Additionally, you can protect certain files by copying them to other media.