8 tips you should follow to protect your computer

Digital Security

During the month of October we’ve been posting some information about cyber security. By following these simple tips you will not only keep your own computer safe; you will also avoid putting customers, family and friends at risk.

1. Protect your identity

Use different passwords for various accounts. Passwords should include more than six characters and be a combination upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters (e.g. @, #, $). Password management software like LastPass and KeePass can help make creating and managing these passwords easier.

2. Turn on your firewall

Firewalls are the first line of defence. They block connections to unknown or fraudulent websites and prevent viruses and hackers from accessing your computer. Your computer operating system has a firewall that can be turned on very easily.

3. Use anti-virus software

Install anti-virus software to prevent viruses from infecting your computer. Make sure it’s set to update automatically and often.

4. Keep your operating system up-to-date

Allow your computer to make critical updates automatically. Software manufacturers will often update operating systems to fix known vulnerabilities.

5. Backup your files

Protect important files from viruses and physical damage such as flood and fire by regularly backing up your files on an external hard drive or in the cloud. Most operating systems or backup software allow you to set up a schedule so you don’t have to think about it.

6. Protect your wireless network

Wireless networks are vulnerable to intruders if they are not protected. Do this yourself, or ask an expert for assistance when you purchase a wireless router.

7. Delete emails from unknown senders

Never open emails, attachments or links from people you don’t know or trust. They might infect your computer with a virus or spyware. Even if you know the sender, use caution when clicking on links or attachments if the content looks suspicious or unusual.

8. Get expert help

Call local police if you discover suspicious content (e.g. child abuse) online or if you suspect computer crime, identity theft or a scam. If you need help maintaining or installing software on your computer, call a computer expert or a local supplier.

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, and we’ll be posting information on our blog to help inform you and protect your personal and business information. These tips have been provided with help from Public Safety Canada.

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