Learning how to stay safe online and on your computer has never been more important.
Why? Well, first, because people are spending more time online than ever before. And, second, because internet crime is becoming an ever-greater threat in the process.
For instance, cybercriminals fleeced individuals and businesses of $3.5 billion last year! According to the same source, that figure’s almost $1 billion higher than it was in 2018.
Clearly, the rate of online crime’s only going up, which is bad news for all of us.
Thankfully, though, having some key computer safety tips up your sleeve can make an almighty difference. With the right insight and approach, you can reduce the likelihood of suffering at the hands of cybercriminals.
Looking for some cybersecurity tips to help you avoid these kinds of issues? Let us help. Read on to discover 6 essential computer safety ideas and strategies.
Install Internet Protection
Installing internet protection software is computer safety 101.
It’s downright essential to the task. Sure, even the best software couldn’t keep your device(s) 100% free from harm. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t important.
This software will monitor your computer for trouble at all times. It’ll warn you about suspicious sites, scan your files for viruses, and block debilitating malware attacks. All told, internet security is your first line of defense against cybercrime.
Furthermore, with high-quality software like Avast available for free, there’s no excuse not to install it either! You can protect your computer and online activity without spending a dime.
Avoid Open Wi-Fi Networks
Most people have been tempted to sign into an open Wi-Fi network at some point in time.
Maybe they were at the airport waiting for a flight, in a coffee shop doing some work, or studying in the library. Whatever the location, these kinds of public spaces often lure us in with the promise of free Wi-Fi. However, it’s almost always an open network.
Signing into it on your computer, mobile, or tablet is like opening the front door to thieves!
These open networks are unencrypted. Anybody with a shred of IT insight can access your device and intercept any sensitive data you choose to transfer. Whether it’s your bank details or private messages, they can see it all.
Needless to say, avoiding unknown open Wi-Fi networks is vital. With no alternative, though, you could also install a virtual private network to offer the encryption you’d otherwise lack.
Know the Threat(s)
Want our number 1 piece of computer safety advice?
Make educating yourself (and staying up to date) on the potential threats out there as much of a priority as enhancing your general IT skills.
For instance, you could be using this guide to learn how to convert PDFs to Word documents on Mac. At the same time, you could teach yourself about phishing scams and ransomware attacks, data leaks, and computer hacks.
With that newfound insight in mind, you’ll know which sites to avoid, which emails to ignore, which pop-ups are unsafe, and so on. The result? You’re far less likely to make crucial mistakes that could lead to digital hardship.
Never Leave Your Computer Logged in and Unattended
Threats to your computer don’t just come from the internet.
Danger can lurk in your physical environment as well! You never know who’s in your vicinity, just waiting for an opportunity to cause trouble.
That’s why it’s so important to sign out of your work computer whenever you leave it unattended. Imagine that you need the bathroom, get called into your boss’s office, or take your lunch break. Whatever happens, it’s imperative that you sign out before you go.
Of course, if you’re in a public space, you should take your laptop with you too. The very worst thing you could do is leave it both signed in and unattended. Someone could use the computer in your absence, steal your data, and wreak all manner of havoc thereafter.
Use High-Quality Passwords
Signing out isn’t always enough to prevent those kinds of issues though. If your password isn’t strong enough, then anybody with a knack for IT could crack the code and gain entry anyway.
Setting a strong password is crucial.
It should be long, complex, and contain letters (both upper and lower case), symbols, and numerals. In other words, do whatever you can to make your password(s) impossible to guess! Only then can you expect to keep uninvited guests from entering your accounts.
Be sure to store them in a sensible way as well though. After all, the most complicated password in the world would be useless if it’s written on a post-it note on your desk!
Use a purpose-built online vault in which to store them instead. That way, nobody can waltz along and stumble across their ticket into your computer.
Buy a Screen Guard
Screen guards offer an easy way to keep sensitive on-screen data safe from prying eyes.
That’s a big deal! Imagine being out of the office and doing some work in a public space. All manner of private personal and/or client information could on display. The last thing you’d want is for it to get into the wrong hands.
Thankfully, screen guards protect against that problem. Affix them to your computer and they make it impossible to see what’s on the screen unless you’re directly in front of it. Anybody trying to sneak a peek from the sides would be greeted with nothing but darkness.
Don’t Forget These Computer Safety Tips
Have you been looking for tips and tricks to bolster your online defenses? Well, good!
With cybercriminals running wild, there’s never been a greater need for people to protect themselves. Don’t, and everything from identity theft to malicious software can make life a misery.
We hope the computer safety tips in this post will help in this regard! Keep them in mind and you should be one step closer to avoiding trouble online.
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