Security Hints & Tips
Giakonda IT: Security Hints & Tips
- Protect your computer against power surges and brief outages.
Power strips alone will not protect you from power outages, but there are products that offer an uninterruptible power supply when there are power surges or outages. During a lightning storm or construction work that increases the odds of power surges, consider shutting your computer down and unplugging it from all power sources. Also be sure to unplug your network cable!
- Back up all of your data.
Regularly backing up your data on a CD/DVD or network reduces the stress and other negative consequences that result from losing important information. How often to back up your data is a personal decision. If you are constantly updating data, you may find weekly backups to be the best alternative; if your content rarely changes, you may decide that backups do not need to be as frequent. You don’t need to back up software that you own on CD-ROM or DVD-ROM—you can reinstall the software from the original media if necessary.
- Use and maintain anti-virus software and a firewall.
Protect yourself against viruses and Trojan horses that may steal or modify the data on your own computer and leave you vulnerable by using anti-virus software and a firewall. Make sure to keep your virus definitions up to date.
- Regularly scan your computer for spyware.
Spyware or adware hidden in software programs may affect the performance of your computer and give attackers access to your data. Use a legitimate anti-spyware program to scan your computer and remove any of these files. Many anti-virus products have incorporated spyware detection.
- Keep software up to date.
Install software updates (also called patches) so that attackers cannot take advantage of known problems or vulnerabilities. Many operating systems offer automatic updates. If this option is available, you should turn it on.
- Evaluate your software’s settings.
It is especially important to check the settings for software that connects to the internet (browsers, email clients, etc.). Apply the highest level of security available that still gives you the functionality you need.
- Avoid unused software programs.
Do not clutter your computer with unnecessary software programs. In addition to consuming system resources, these programs may contain vulnerabilities that, if not fixed with the latest version, may allow an attacker to access your computer. Think before you download programs on a whim.
- Consider creating separate user accounts.
If there are other people using your computer, you may be worried that someone else may accidentally access, modify, and/or delete your files. Most operating systems (including Windows XP and Vista, Mac OS X, and Linux) give you the option of creating a different user account for each user, and you can set the amount of access and privileges for each account. You may also choose to have separate accounts for your work and personal purposes. Ideally, you will have separate computers for work and personal use; this will offer a different type of protection. It is not a good idea to give yourself Administrative Privileges.
- Establish guidelines for computer use.
If there are multiple people using your computer make sure they understand the risks and how to use the computer and internet safely. Setting boundaries and guidelines will help to protect your data.
- Use passwords and encrypt sensitive files.
Passwords and other security features add more layers of protection if used appropriately. By encrypting files, you ensure that unauthorized people can’t view data even if they can physically access it. You may also want to consider options for full disk encryption, which prevents a thief from even starting your laptop without a passphrase. (When you use encryption, it is important to remember your passwords and passphrases; if you forget or lose them, you may lose your data.)
- Follow corporate policies for handling and storing work-related information.
If you use your computer for work-related purposes, be sure to follow any corporate policies for handling and storing information. These policies were established to protect proprietary information and customer data, as well as to protect you and the company from liability. Even if it is not explicitly stated in your corporate policy, you should avoid allowing other people, including family members, to use a computer that contains corporate data.
- Dispose of sensitive information properly.
Simply deleting a file does not completely erase it. To ensure that an attacker cannot access these files, make sure that you adequately erase sensitive files. US Dept. Of Defence Level 7 is recommended for important stuff.
- Follow good security habits.
Review our other security tips for ways to protect yourself and your data.
- GiaKonda IT Ltd can be contacted on 01792422616 or visited at
3 Humphrey Street Swansea SA1 6BG. firstname.lastname@example.org
- Please feel free to distribute this information
- Back up all of your data.