In today’s world, our dependence on technology and usage of personal computers and smart devices has created new types of problems and concerns. One of the major areas of concern is security and privacy. We have listed 5 common steps that could help address and correct some of these issues.
- Control visitors connecting to your WIFI network using the guest access configuration. The latest iterations of WIFI routers include this option. By isolating vendors or visitors connecting to your corporate WIFI network, you will minimize risk of attack to your corporate network infrastructure.
- Upgrade to the latest anti-virus software. Hackers are continuously looking for creative ways to infiltrate internal data in home and business devices and computers. Newer virus software have features that can detect attacks by scanning the website a user is currently visiting. This type of feature is one of many reasons why you want to upgrade to a newer software.
- Utilize free features included in your operating system. Ensure that the software update service is enabled and scheduled to download new updates daily. These updates are meant to patch any bugs in the system. Patching fixes issues for certain software functionality, locks down known security exploits, and also includes enhancements for the operating system. For example, in Microsoft Windows this service is called Windows Update and it is located under control panel of the system.
- Avoid installing free software. If you must download free software to minimize cost for your business or personal use, keep in mind, most of these types of software are packaged with unwanted program utilities. These programs are then installed on the computer if the user does not pay close attention and read the menu prompts during the installation process. Some of these utilities can be malware, a general name for a program that performs unwanted actions on your device. Stealing your personal information, locking your PC until you pay a ransom, or using your PC to send spam are common malware attacks. In contrast, software products that are developed by a major corporation such as Adobe or Google are safe to download and install.
- Be cautious when clicking on hyperlinks in an email. Most people cannot resist the temptation to open a link in the body of an email. This is one of the biggest security loopholes in most home or business networks. We all know using an email is very trivial, but now especially in a business environment we have to be collectively responsible. One of the creative methods that hackers use to steal your information is masking a malicious website underneath a hyperlink. For example, you receive an email from one of your financial institutions asking you to click on a link to login to their website. These emails are always designed to mimic a genuine email message, containing the proper verbiage, logos, and links and only the link is pointing to the malicious site or program.
These are just a few precautions that can be taken to reduce the risk of your system being compromised from external predators, and by no means a comprehensive list. Protect yourself by staying cautious and use your best judgment when providing information electronically.