Stay Safe Online, Keeping my Information Secure

This is one of the most common things we overlook and that is called security. Security is vital when surfing the web and we leave ourselves extremely vulnerable and we do not even realize it. Entering card information or any information can be the same as opening the doors to your house and letting people come right in. Might as well raise the windows too with the way some people browse. Below we will go over the question of how to stay safe online. How we can stop that and prevent it in the future is imperative to keeping your information confidential.

What is Computer Security?

Computer security is simple yet complex. It is simple in the fact that all you have to do is keep everything updated and have super complex passwords. The only problem with that is..we are lazy! I am for sure. When it comes to passwords, most people reuse the same ones on everything they log into. People also write down passwords in a book and if you ever lose that book..it would not be good. This is just covering the topic of passwords. There are tons of other security measures that have to be addressed and this is where the complexity comes into play.

Biggest Security Threats To You

A lot of times people are afraid of hackers and people stealing account information. To be honest, it is highly improbable a hacker would waste his time on an everyday person, no offense, but let’s be real here. If you have 500 people and 50 of those are CEO’s, VIPs, COO’s, why in the world would they go for the other 450? What you should be concerned with is everyday things such as ransomware, Kaspersky Antivirus Software Review

trojans, and many different types of viruses. The biggest threat to you is….well it is frankly you.

The Reason You Are Your Threat

Let’s say you are browsing the internet and not messing with anything bad or going anywhere bad, just shopping on Amazon. You save your credit card information and login info for quicker purchases since you use this computer daily. Your children get home from school and they are looking for something to do so you let them on your computer while you finish up some work. They start playing some games and downloading a bunch of fun games they discover off a flash site. Next thing you know, your card has been compromised and your computer is junked up. Did the internet cause this or your children? You did and you could have prevented this.

How to Not be Your Biggest Enemy

Step one

Download a good free Anti-Virus. AVG, Avast, and Amita are good starting points. Be aware of some bad Anti-Virus programs. Just keep these up and they will give you enough security to browse and do things like that.

Step Two

Install Malware Bytes as this is one amazing piece of free software that will detect any malware. Here is some common malware to look out for:

  • Virus – Viruses attach themselves to clean files and infect other clean files. They can
    spread uncontrollably, damaging a system’s core functionality and
    deleting or corrupting files. They can appear as a lot of different file types, but mostly .exe‘s.
  • Trojans – This kind of malware disguises itself as legitimate software, or is
    included in legitimate software that has been tampered with. CCleaner actually just recently did this on accident. It generally allows other types of malware, just think of it as the Trojan horse from Troy.
  • Spyware – Spyware us nade to watch your activity and try to collect data. It hides
    in the background and takes notes on what you do online, including your
    passwords, credit card numbers, surfing habits and more.
  • Ransomware – This encrypts everything on your computer and locks up all of your data. They demand a hefty ransom for the key to unlocking all of your data.

Step Three

Create another user account for your children or a guest to

play on.

  1. Go to search bar
  2. Type “user accounts”
  3. Select the type of account you want created
  4. Now log out of your account when someone other than you want to access it.

There are way more cool advanced ways to add users and do other amazing things we will discuss in other articles. This article merely scratches the surface of security. It is so vital that you follow these procedures, even if its a few extra steps.

Clean Desk Policy

This is just another nugget I’d like to throw in that I see happen at work all the time. People walk away from their computer and leave it wide open, so one of the guys will get on and make our desktop background a picture of David Hasselhoff in his undies. Imagine if they were someone who wanted to steal information and no one else was around. They could sit down on your computer and have a field day and then Hoff you.

 

Another big deal is leaving important documents lying around unsecured. I cannot stress how many opportunities I have had in my life to steal personal information. Luckily I am a nice guy. Imagine if I was a malicious person just trying to steal that info. People carry around documents loosely and sometimes they do not even dispose of them properly. That makes the job of someone looking to steal PII(personal identification information) a walk in the park.

 

Stay Safe Online, Do Not Be Lazy

Once again, I cannot stress enough how little of security we have covered here. I have been to several security courses and they are overcomplicated and crazy most of the time. Most learning is now done by memorization and not actual understanding. We need to come to an understanding here, to salvage other people’s knowledge for our own. Remember the biggest threat to a computer is yourself. You let yourself install malicious content, you went to that website. To be aware is to be safe. Do not take shortcuts when it comes to keeping your information secure. You will lose eventually, it is asking for trouble. Keep your desk clean and try to dispose of PII properly. Lastly, lock your computers, or I will find you and Hoff you. This is just the surface, let me know what you think! We salvage from each other here.

 

-Pat

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About Pat 26 Articles
I love to play the drums, build websites, learn tech, and explore! My passion is music and technology. I want to be in the fast lane of life, not the slow lane or the sidewalk.

4 Comments

  1. Very helpful, thank you. Good to show us that we can be the threat and probably are most of the time.

    But should we not be worried about all that paywave, nfc, contactless payments or however you want to call it?

    If i loose my card, obviously my fault. But can those informations not be easily read by anyone standing behind me in a line? I know its a bit off topic 🙂

    Cheers

    • Thank you for the response! Yes, shoulder surfing is a very valid point and a great topic to touch on. I will definitely consider this moving forward.

  2. Pat, I use System Mechanics, in addition to the MS Defender. In your opinion, is this sufficient? For a while, Defender was off, after I installed something, but I got it back on, now.

    Thanks,
    Lynne

    • Hey Lynne,
      I have actually never used nor heard of System Mechanics. I will definitely do some research on it. Windows Defender should be good and you should be safe. Most problems come from web browsing, emails, and downloads. You should be alright with having Defender off every now and then.

      Thank you for the comment!
      -Pat

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