Taking basic steps to secure your environment when you are online is just as important as maintaining your physical security…
…no matter whether you are a teacher or student in an educational institution or running a business that requires interaction with your Customers via computer.
Consider if someone you live with didn’t lock the front door one night. The result is a less secure environment for everyone than it would be with a locked door. This physical security problem is the same type of security issue that happens when one person operates in an unsecure fashion while using a computer. It only takes one compromised machine inside a network to create major security problems for all computer users in that network.
The good news is that securing your environment doesn’t have to be rocket science. Taking a few routine precautions can make a big difference. For example;
Protect yourself from malware and viruses by installing a good anti-virus solution – and remember to keep it regularly updated from the vendor
Turn on your Operating System Firewall and if you are working cooperatively (i.e. sharing files & data) ensure that your network accesses the internet via a reputable Firewall appliance or security provider
Regularly change your passwords. Use a tool to maintain and update your passwords to make it easier to have different & complex passwords, rather than using one or two passwords for all your systems
Using licensed software is also a good way to ensure that you are operating in a secure fashion. One of the most common vectors to gain entry into networks is by the use of ‘free’ software downloads. Sometimes these appear to be regular software, but they can have malware (both active or dormant) embedded inside them. Purchasing software from a trusted source (software distributor or computer vendor) is a great way to make sure that what you buy is what you get – without the nasty additives.
While you are travelling, remember to turn off your Wi-Fi when you are not using it. Use ‘Free’ Wi-Fi hotspots with caution, as these can also be a source of problems such as location tracking or web browser compromise. If your computing device has the ability to monitor and secure Wi-Fi access remember to turn these features on, especially when travelling overseas. Also, turn Bluetooth off when you’re not using it. Bluetooth might make it easy to use your wireless headphones, but it also broadcasts that your device is open for ‘business’ and this may not be the kind of business that you want or need.
Speak to CompNow if you want to review your information technology security setup. Whether it is anti-virus software, network or firewall appliances, secure Wi-Fi or just adopting operating the best practice around IT security, we are here to help.
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