November 30th is National Computer Security Day. It was established in 1988 to raise awareness about computer security issues. Twenty-nine years later, in 2017, this awareness is more important than ever. A Gallup poll released this fall found that identity theft is the most feared threat for consumers. To help raise awareness we’ve listed some best practices that, if followed consistently, will help keep your computer secure.
- Make sure all of your software is up to date. Don’t ignore those annoying update prompts that pop up on your screen!
- Make sure your passwords are unique and strong. We recommend using a password manager to help keep them in order. Read more about passwords here.
- Set a password that is required to unlock your computer. (Attention Mac users, if you've upgraded to High Sierra, make sure you read this now to protect yourself from a recently discovered security flaw).
- Make sure your home wireless network is password-protected.
- Don’t browse sensitive websites on an open network. If you have to, learn how to use a virtual private network, or VPN.
- Log off your computer when not using it.
We write a lot about the subject of cyber security because consistently following best practices will nurture the development of good habits that will then become second nature when you’re using your devices. When these steps are part of your routine, it will amount to a higher level of awareness and safe practices, no matter what device you're using.