Hacker Proofing 101: Computer Security Tips

        The term ‘Hacker’ has been rampant around the internet recently. Actually, it has been the dirty word of the internet since the 80’s and the classic hacker movies of the early 90’s. It’s not a word you want to throw around loosely; it scares people because the path of destruction can be crippling. Whether your 15 year old opened a scam email and infected your family computer, or a virus has taken down your entire system at the office – most people have witnessed the effects of an online security breach.

        While the term Hacker has seen resurgence (particularly in the social media channels) with the handywork of LulzSec, and the recent attacks in Syria and Hong Kong; now might be a good time to review a few tips to reduce your computer security risks.

        Computer Safety Tips:

        - Run an updated virus protection: viruses change on a daily basis, make sure you have the right protection.

        - Change your password regularly: Even a slight adjustment every few months will help, and keep it a secret!

        - Read and pay attention to the terms and copyrights of downloaded files: Don’t just click ‘OK’.

        - Make sure your OS is patched: You can be left vulnerable without proper and up-to-date patches.

        - Run backups on all your files! You will be happy you did.

        - Be conscious of how you are transmitting personal or sensitive information: don’t send credit card info or passwords in the body of an email, it’s just not safe.

        - Lock your computer when it is unattended: this will save you from pranks and information stealing.

        - Be careful of resource-intensive software/streaming files and media

        - Choose a reputable host: Ask questions about security methods/systems, read customer testimonials, get what you pay for.

        Some of these tips seem simple, routine and come second-nature. But incorporating all of these suggestions into your regular computer habits can save you a lot of devastation, recovery time and money at the hands of a hacker or a virus.

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