Nowadays, computers and smartphones have become an integral part of our modern-day living. We rely on them and use them for most of the daily tasks in the workplace and at home. It also contains a lot of sensitive data about your life, such as personal photos, emails, passwords, financial information and much more.
However, most users either aren’t interested in securing their computer or just don’t have the time to do so. Therefore, their computers are becoming more and more susceptible to hackers. No matter what operating system you are using, such as Windows, Mac OS or Linux, the threats are still there and need to be eliminated.
The problem is that you might think that making your computer more secure is complicated and requires many technical skills. The point is that the process isn’t hard to understand as you thought. You can get started securing your computer with these simple tips. They will help you to protect your computer and your sensitive data from hackers and cyber criminals.
Computer security is a large topic and one that large organizations and companies spend millions of dollars on every year. However, that’s business scale, and as for personal computer security, here are top seven free tips you can use to help your computer be more secure against computer threats.
#1. Operating System Updates
Keeping your operating system up to date will help you eliminate most security holes and bugs. To get rid of threats, you always need to update your operating system to the latest version. The best way is to set up it to download and update automatically, so you don’t need to worry about it.
#2. Software Updates
Like the operating system, you also need to keep installed software on your computer up to date, especially internet browsers, which are vulnerable.
Software developers are always working to improve their products and fix bugs to make it safer, as well as adding new features. So, installing software updates not only helps to protect your computer but also brings new features.
#3. Against Virus And Malware
There are many types of viruses, malware, as well as malicious programs out there and you couldn’t know all the names of them. Some people say using the antivirus application is a waste of time and it will slow down your computer. Instead, you only need to use your computer carefully, and you are totally safe.
However, this isn’t correct as you can’t control your computer 100%. Using a computer without self-defense is absolutely self-destructive, and also opens a door that will let hackers get onto your computer.
It’s time to use an antivirus software or anti-malware program to protect your computer and help it against those types of threats. I would recommend using popular brands, such as Kaspersky, Bitdefender or Malwarebytes. These programs will protect your computer in real-time and neutralize most threats.
Don’t want to spend much money for those premium applications? There are a few places you can find discounts for those paid antivirus and anti-malware programs, such as SharewareOnSale or Coupon Buffer.
The firewall will help you control incoming and outgoing connections on your computer. It will block any suspect connections that go through your computer but still make sure to allow normal activities to work. You can easily create a customized firewall rule to block a particular connection on your computer.
If you don’t want to spend money for a premium software-based firewall like Comodo Firewall, or ZoneAlarm Pro Firewall, then the built-in Windows Firewall would be good, just make sure that it’s always enabled.
#5. Use Third-Party DNS Servers
You might feel strange when I recommend using third-party DNS servers to help to secure your PC. Indeed, it’s entirely correct. Along with helping your internet connection to be more stable, third-party DNS servers have filters to block malicious and dangerous websites. Therefore, when you visit those sites, these DNS servers will prevent you from accessing them and warn you about this threat.
#6. Be Careful Using Public Wi-Fi
Surfing your favorite websites while sipping a cup of latte is enjoyable, right? But be aware! Someone with the appropriate tools can easily catch your unencrypted connections and then crack and steal your passwords.
If you have a 3G/4G connection, I would suggest using it instead of a public wireless network. In case you don’t, then use a VPN to secure your internet connection.
Websites have used HTTPS for a while, and your data will be encrypted before transmitting. Unfortunately, another part that uses HTTP method didn’t, and your data won’t be safe when sending from your browser to the server. Therefore, you will need a VPN to encrypt and redirect all data to the private tunnel of VPN to make it safer.
#7. Choose Your Passwords Wisely
Did you know how easy your password can be compromised? The point is that you can’t trust any websites that you give your password to. The reason is they might not intend stealing your password, but hackers do.
Therefore, to prevent hackers from using the same password for your other accounts, it’s better to use a separate password for each site. In doing so, you probably won’t remember all of them which will be very irritating.
However, with the help of password manager software, like LastPass, things will be easier. Using a password manager application also prevents hackers from stealing your passwords by using a keyboard sniffer.
Furthermore, most password manager apps always come with a password generator, which will help you to create stronger passwords, which mix different elements, such as uppercase, lowercase, special characters, and numbers. A password like “Bej^Qb4[Hw” will be stronger than “MyPassword” and harder to guess, right?