We are all often too busy to look after the things we know we need to look after. So in this short but informative (I hope) article I want to give you some easy things that you should be doing and then automate as many as we can. Lets see how we get on shall we?
1. System Updates
No life changing news to find this at the top of my list, but the fact of the matter is they are released for a good reason. You see, when your operating system was released, the company that made it wanted as many applications as possible to just work when you installed them. The idea that you need to go on a course to use an operating system has long past us, so the only way to ensure that you don’t need to be a security wiz just to install a weather app is to leave most of the communication ports open, to allow most processes by default and not to question an installer that uses a piece of code that looks similar to one used to steal your email address!
This means that when a new vulnerability is identified within specific applications or within the operating system, there is an update to close the loophole.
So, take 5 minutes to make a cup of coffee or take the dog for a walk while the updates are completing.
Windows allows you to set different ways to update your system. In Windows 10 type “Windows updates” (without the quotation marks) in the Cortana search box, click Windows Update and click Advanced options. Choose the update method that best fits with you.
2. Use a reputable Anti-Virus and make sure you use the right license.
Now Anti-Virus applications and personal favourites are like posteriors….. Everybody has one!
Personally my list is short and sweet, I like:
- Comodo Anti-Virus products because Comodo are innovators.
- Sophos because for Home Users they have a really sweet deal
- I like Eset because they have a small application with a great reputation
But you use whatever takes your fancy so long as you follow a couple of basic rules:
- If you have just one device and want to use a free Anti-Virus then use Comodo – the only difference between free and premium is support
- If you have up to 5 devices at home and want free then use Sophos because the home version has a web interface for monitoring and controlling up to 5 devices
- If you are a business user then buy the premium license and use Comodo or Eset. I don’t know any anti-virus company that allows businesses to use their free anti-virus
Open your anti-virus window and check that it is set to update automatically and to scan at least weekly.
3. Make sure your computer Firewall is running
If your computer is a Windows PC you know where the Firewall is, if not check the Security Centre and make sure it is turned on.
If you are a MAC or Linux user then you should know exactly what to do about a Firewall.
If you are in Business then get a Hardware Firewall as well, they are less expensive than you might think (contact us for a quote).
Once you know your Firewalls are ok, just double check them every month to make sure nothing has disabled them, although most systems will tell you.
4. Use a complex password and lock the computer when not in use
It is easier than ever to use different passwords and complex ones at that for almost every login you have.
LastPass is a password manager that can do it all, suggest passwords, remember them for you, allow you to log into a web interface to view details of accounts and passwords, auto-complete login’s if the extention has been installed in your browser, the list is endless. You set one complex but memorable password to log in and the rest is simple.
If you are a business then fork out the silly little price and buy the premium edition – it’s worth it.
5. Slow down and think
Before you open any email or download any file, take a second to check the details of the sender or the website you are on. Make sure they are legitimate. Over 90% of all infections are allowed onto systems by the user.
At Watchman IT Security we use a product called Heimdal, why?:
- It updates most common software packages without you even noticing
- It protects you by preventing malicious code on websites
- It stops you visiting websites that have been hacked
- It prevents zero day (brand new & unknown) malware from connecting you to servers on the Dark Web
- It is really cost effective
You can learn more here.
Contact us and we can let you have a trial.