July 24, 2017
10 Things

10 things I know about... Safe computing

Libis R. Bueno is CEO and chief technology officer at Worcester IT firm Domitek. Reach him at lbueno@domitek.net.

10) Use strong passwords and keep them secure. Passwords should contain a mix of capital and lower-case letters, numbers, symbols and spaces. They should create images or acronyms that are easy for you to remember, but hard for others or a hacker to figure out.

9) Use anti-virus software. This software scans files on your computer's memory for certain patterns indicating malware.

8) Secure area and devices. You should shut down, lock, log off, or put your computer and other devices to sleep before leaving them unattended, and make sure they require a secure password to start up.

7) Backup your data. Backing up your machine regularly can protect you from the unexpected.

6) Don't install unnecessary software. Potentially Unwanted Programs or PUP's are software or apps you don't want on your devices. Without your knowledge these programs come bundled mostly with freeware and install themselves on your devices.

5) Restrict administrative access. In multi-user environments, it pays to restrict administrator access to only the users who know how to keep the computer safe.

4) Protect sensitive data. Securely remove sensitive data files from your hard drive when recycling a computer.

3) Patch, patch and patch. Set up your computer for automatic software and operating system updates.

2) Use email responsibly. Type links in the web browser instead of clicking to ensure you reach the site you plan on reaching.

1) Encrypt sensitive files. A truly private message must be encrypted before it leaves your computer, and remain encrypted until it is received.

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