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Basic Computer Security

Keep an up-to-date system

Keeping your devices, and applications installed on them, up-to-date is one of the best ways to prevent unauthorized access to your devices. New vulnerabilities are discovered frequently and fixes for these vulnerabilities are release just as frequently. By installing updates, patches, bug-fixes, or other names relating to this activity, it will help keep the threat actors from being able to get into your system and/or move around your system.

Utilize security software

Antivirus protection is the traditional name for the basic security software designed to protect your computer. This product type has evolved into complete solutions that can help protect not only the device it’s running on, but also things being done with the device. A few examples include protecting from malicious files, websites, and network threats and can include things like password management, dark-web monitoring, and even credit monitoring. These have really evolved into endpoint protection solutions that offer great protection.

Proceed with caution

Keeping your system up to date and using security software can only protect your devices to things you don’t allow. The next line of defense is the human using the device; it’s important to know what you’re asking your device to do. Things like web links going to places you don’t mean them to, emails pretending to be from someone else with malicious attachments, or people on social media asking you to do something, can all lead to system compromise. It’s important to remember that while the internet has made many advances in society, the internet has threats lurking around every corner trying to find ways of taking advantage of people. Slow down and take the time to know what you’re clicking and where it goes, what you’re installing and what it does, and what you’re sharing with who and what will be done with your information once you share it.

BONUS - Software review

This is a bit of a more advanced tip, and while it’s important to know what software is being installed on your computer, it’s also important to remove software you don’t need anymore. Threat actors can use old software you don’t use anymore, and therefore probably don’t update, to try and break into your system. Taking a little bit of time on an annual basis to remove unused software can give you an advantage over the threat actors.