The Ultimate Cheat Sheet to Computer Security

With breaches and leaks constantly occurring, it is important to keep your computer safe and secure. Some of the best and easiest steps toward making your computing experience more secure have been compiled below. 

  1. Clear your web browser’s data

Cleaning out your web browser’s cache ensures that your browser is not saving any sensitive information. This can also fix current issues that you may be experiencing, as well as problems in the future. Visit the Information Technology website for tutorials on clearing your specific browser’s cache. 

  1. Update your web browser

Make sure that your web browser is up to date to be protected from the most recent security attacks. Updates should be downloaded from the browser’s official website; you can also check for browser updates by going into settings and then locating the check for updates option. 

  1. Update your passwords

When was the last time you changed any of your passwords? A year? Five years? If any of these timeframes are true for you, then it is time to update the passwords you use. It is important that you do not use the same password for every account. If one account is compromised, then all your accounts are compromised.   

  1. Run your antivirus software

If your computer has been slow lately, running your antivirus software will potentially fix that problem. This action will ensure that your computer is safe from the latest threats. If you’re on a university owned machine, McAfee VirusScan is already installed. Watch this training video on how to run a scan using McAfee: web.semo.edu/it/userservices/security/HowToUseMcAfee. 

For those using personal machines or who are off-campus, watch these videos on products that can help you fight malware, ransomware, etc.: web.semo.edu/it/userservices/security/HowToUseMalwarebytes 

web.semo.edu/it/userservices/security/HowToUseADWC 

  1. Backup your data

People aren’t foolproof, and neither are computers. Hard drives fail and virus/ransomware attacks happen. Backing up your computer will ensure you have another copy of your data. If you use a smartphone you can use iCloud for iPhones or Google Drive for Androids to backup your settings and photos. On a PC or Mac, you could place copies into your OneDrive, Dropbox, etc. You could also backup your data to an external hard drive so that you can have it stored for easy access. However, if you keep the hard drive plugged into the machine, ransomware is smart enough to move to your external drive and corrupt your backup. 

  1. Update your operating system

Updating your operating system is a very important step that you should perform frequently. This process ensures that you are using the best version of your operating system with the newest features and security updates. If you’re using Windows, open and run Windows Update to ensure that you’re up to date. If you’re on a Mac operating system, open the App Store and check the Updates tab. 

We can all agree that when our computers are not functioning properly, we suffer from this set-back. By, following this cheat sheet, you will be on the road toward better improving your computers security.

 

 

Author: Robert Hendrix 

 

References 

Gott, Amber. “Slow Day at the Office? 11 Security To-Do’s to Check Off.” The LastPass Blog, 29 Dec. 2016, blog.lastpass.com/2016/12/slow-day-at-the-office-11-security-to-dos-to-check-off.html/. 

Shield vectors: <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/collection-of-blue-shields-in-flat-design_1086346.htm”>Designed by Freepik</a>

Hand vector: <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/sround-tablets-in-a-glass-of-water-cylindrical-container-and-human-hand_1442440.htm”>Designed by Vectorpocket</a>

Other vector images: <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/system-of-authentication-data-access-user-login-form-on-laptop-screen_2910238.htm”>Designed by Fullvector</a>

 

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