Computers are our companions to many mundane tasks: banking, studying, gaming, streaming, etc. And while PCs and laptops bring us incredible inconvenience, we must maintain them. For instance, keeping a cluttered desktop could not only be an eyesore: but could also hinder performance.
Furthermore, we need to guarantee that the software and files we download do not damage our system. Luckily, you can protect your computer with several useful recommendations.
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General Purpose Security and Privacy Tips
We all have multiple passwords today (at least we should), and sometimes remembering and managing them all can be challenging. A password manager helps you store all your passwords securely while having a single master password.
Instead of using one password for all your accounts, writing down passwords, or trying to memorize all of them, you can use a password manager.
Virtual private networks are tools that protect your online traffic through an encrypted connection. They also allow you to hide and change your IP address, giving you more privacy and security overall.
You should always use a VPN, especially when connecting via unsecured public Wi-Fi networks. Best of all, there are VPN for Windows that will only perform the usual VPN duties, but other security tasks, too. For instance, a VPN can block ads, scan the web for data breaches, and more.
Use long passwords with at least eight characters, and don’t use the same password for two accounts. Use a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols, and create random passwords that don’t have any meaning.
Don’t share your passwords with anyone. If possible, avoid saving your passwords in your web browser.
Multi-factor authentication tools create an additional layer of security when accessing your accounts. When you type in your password, you will be redirected to another authentication where you must provide your fingerprint, phone number, email, or a randomly generated code.
The code is sent to your email or phone, and you can type it in. Without it, you can’t log into your account. So, pick an MFA option that suits your needs the best.
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Always check the website before downloading something. Avoid downloading from third-party sites and go directly to the source. Cybercriminals often hide malware within file downloads, and you might infect your device without knowing it. If your antivirus warns you about a download, don’t go through with it.
Go to Virus & Threat protection in Windows Security and use the Scan options to check if everything is alright with your system. You can do a quick scan if there’s nothing wrong with your device, but if you believe your system might be in danger, use the full scan to check your network drives, files, and programs thoroughly.
Windows gives you many security options, but most people don’t even know them. If you want constant protection, go to Privacy & Security and then Virus & threat protection settings. It is where you will find the real-time protection feature so you can always detect malware and prevent malicious programs from being installed.
In the Virus & protection settings, you can find the Ransomware protection menu to enable ransomware protection. This protection lets you specify which folders should be monitored and prevent unwanted changes. At the same time, it syncs your data with Microsoft OneDrive so you can recover files in case of an attack.
Whenever you have an OS, antivirus, software, or driver update, install it immediately. Most updates come with security fixes that deal with any discovered vulnerabilities in the code. Don’t use outdated tools, as attackers can easily exploit them.
Phishing is the most common method cybercriminals use to steal identities and credentials. Even though most antivirus stools offer protection against phishing attacks, it’s best to learn how to recognize them. Shining attacks usually include links, attachments, messages, texts, or emails. You should avoid messages whenever someone unknown is sending you anything clickable.
Don’t allow apps to track your location or let services access your data. Choose that option if you can use a product without giving away your data. Furthermore, if you’re using social media, you should limit pinning your location or sharing any personal information about yourself with total strangers.
These are some essential tips you should follow in 2023 to boost your security and privacy online. You can set everything up in about 20 minutes, which is nothing compared to how much time and money you could lose by being exposed to a cyberattack. It’s better to be safe than sorry, as they say. Keep all this in mind, and you should have no issues.