Top 6 ways YOU can protect your Data and PCs
Despite the fact that pound for pound, computers are cheaper than they have ever been,
business technology is still a large investment. At the end of the day, you don’t want to leave any money on the table. You also realize that your data is much more valuable that any PC, and we all know the devastating effects of ransomware and the slew of other threats that grow every day.
The field of cybersecurity is both expansive and complex, and we recommend every business have an expert that they trust. That being said we’d also like to provide 6 ways YOU can protect your PC and data.
1: Anti-virus: Any anti-virus is better than none, but they are not all made equally. The best solution is on that is managed and monitored by IT pros (we use a managed version of Bitdefender), but other than that you really want to do the research and balance out the protection of the antivirus vs. the amount of recourses it uses.
2: Watch your downloading habits: The easiest way for viruses to get into your PC is if you let them in, and downloading files is the equivalent of handing out the keys to the castle. The best rule is to only download what is necessary, and when you do download make sure it is from a reputable source. You’d be shocked at the number of bad downloads on sites that show up on the first page of google searches.
3: Windows updates: In addition to normal bug fixes and upgrades, Windows also releases regular security fixes. The best part is you already paid for these upgrades when you bought your PC, so download away! (You can check for these in “Updates and Security” within settings)
4: Be careful with your emails: All of the big players in email have very good spam filtering at this point, but that being said, nothing is perfect. Beware of email that are from unknown senders and be just as careful with email from known senders that look strange or have any attachments you were not expecting. It is also great practice to treat links within emails with the same caution as you do attachments. Unfortunately, hackers and virus programmers keep getting better and better at what they do.
5: WiFi Security: We could open a whole can of worms when it comes to WiFi security, but as a general rule- Have separate network for guests, and do not give out your private WiFi password. When multiple PCs are on the same network it is relatively easy for threats to travel from one device to another. This is especially important for those who have a home office, where you are not in control of what anyone else downloads.
Special consideration needs to be taken into account when you are working on someone else’s guest WiFi network. The best play in that case is a good VPN. We recommend Nord VPN (https://nordvpn.com/), as they are consistently rated as one of, if not the, best VPN service.
6: Backups: In a worse-case scenario, where you do lose your data, the quickest way to get back on your feet is a good backup. Like antivirus, the best option is a managed backup by an IT team. With that being said, there are some other options that work very well for many people. Both Carbonite and CrashPlan have been used successfully for small to medium sized business, and they are both also relatively easy to install and configure.
To wrap this up, the best way to protect yourself is to have both safeguards and good IT policies in place to stop threats BEFORE they become an issue. It is much less risky and more cost efficient to pay more up front, than to pay more later when you are looking at downtime, data recovery, and labor to get you back up and running.