How to Have a Secure Computer: The Complete Guide
It’s estimated that by 2025, cybercrime will cost the world more than ten trillion dollars every year! Whether you are a casual computer user, a small business owner, or the CEO of an international conglomerate, you stand to lose a lot to malware and cyberattacks.
You want to make sure that all of the information is safe and you have a secure computer. Thankfully, there are several proactive steps that you can take to lower your chances of facing security issues. It should also be noted that the more sensitive and important the data on your computer is, the more time and money you should invest to keep it secure.
With that said, everyone can benefit from having a secure computer. So keep on reading and we’ll walk you through everything that you’re going to want to know.
- Keep Up With Software and System Security Updates
While it can seem annoying to have to constantly check for security and software updates, it’s also extremely important that you do so. Performing these updates won’t just add extra features to your computing system. They will also cover security holes that your developer has worked on.
This means that the provider of your software or operating system (OS) has come across vulnerabilities that give hackers the chance to compromise the software or even your whole computer.
Usually, if there is an update available for your system, you’ll see a notification. You should make sure that you have these notifications set up. You even might want to turn on automatic updates so you don’t even have to worry about manually telling your computer to install the new update.
If you don’t have time to update your computer because you need to work, then you can update it overnight. Remember, all software on your computer can be hacked. When there is an update available, you should install it.
With all that said, you should still be wary of updates, even though they tend to be a good thing. Sometimes, a software company will offer beat versions for users to try. These updates might be unstable and may be especially vulnerable to hackers.
Even if a stable version is released, you might want to wait a day or two to see what the reviews are. New updates can sometimes come with unexpected bugs. Just remember to install it sooner rather than later and don’t forget to update.
It’s also very important that you keep an eye out for fake updates. A hacker might send you a link to click, telling you that it is an official update. If you install this fake update, you may end up giving your entire computer system over to a hacker.
You should do some research and see if the software company just released an update. Don’t be afraid to take the text from the update’s notification and plug it into a search engine. See if that same text comes up from other people who were scammed.
- Utilize a Firewall
When you have a firewall installed, you have a barrier between your network or computer and the internet. Essentially, a firewall closes the computer ports that stop communication with your computer. This is going to protect your system by preventing threats from getting into your computer and spreading between devices.
It can also stop your data from leaving your system.
If you have open computer ports, then anything that comes into the ports can be processed. This can be dangerous if a malicious program was sent to you by a bad actor.
While you can actually manually close your ports, a firewall will act as an effective defense to close all of your ports. The firewall is going to open the ports to trusted apps only and external devices on an as-needed basis.
If your OS comes with a firewall, then you can just enable that built-in firewall. You can pick to install an extra firewall as an added layer of defense or if your operating system doesn’t have one already.
There are several free options available. Also, antivirus software tends to come with built-in firewalls.
- Use a Virtual Private Network
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are becoming more and more popular. This is an excellent way to boost your security, especially when you browse the internet. When you use a VPN, all of your internet traffic is encrypted.
The traffic is also tunneled through a server in a different area. This means that you can be browsing the internet while you are physically in Houston, Texas but records will show that you are browsing from somewhere like London, England or Paris, France.
This allows you to access geo-locked content and access censored material. Political dissidents will use VPNs so that they can use the internet without being tracked by tyrannical governments.
You should also make sure that you utilize secure wifi whenever you browse the internet to protect yourself from threats.
The Importance of Knowing How to Have a Secure Computer
Hopefully, after reading the above article, you now have a better understanding of how to have a secure computer. As we can see, it’s not very difficult to make sure that your data is safe and secure. You just need to make sure that you are being smart on the internet and making sure that all of your systems are up to date.
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