“Computer Security” is a broad term in the IT industry that can mean anything from your password to physically securing your electronic devices. Everyone wants to protect their devices and data from unwanted access. Continue reading to learn some basics of computer security.
One of the most basic security mechanisms is to have a password on your computer. Passwords aren’t just used on computers though. They are used on smartphones and tablets, as well as other electronic devices. More importantly, passwords protect online bank, email, and shopping accounts, just to name a few.
When creating a new password, it is recommended to use capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. It is generally a good idea to avoid using a word that can be found in a dictionary.
Antivirus and antimalware programs help protect your device from virus and malware attacks. Unfortunately, some bugs wiggle their way through your security programs and can infect your machine or steal your information. Make sure to keep your security programs up to date!
There are both hardware and software firewalls. A hardware firewall is a physical device that can be installed on your network. It offers additional security on your entire network whereas most software firewalls cover just the device it is installed on. There are a few software firewalls that cover all of the devices on your network just like a hardware firewall. Before deciding on which type of firewall to implement, make sure you do your research so you know what you’re getting.
Some email services automatically provide a layer of email encryption, but this encryption may only protect the email while in transit, meaning it may be vulnerable after reaching the destination. However, there are plenty of email encryption solutions which provide additional security by requiring the recipient to use a specific password or have an email encryption certificate installed.
Physically securing your electronic devices is just as important as all other security measures. Cable locks are used to anchor desktops or laptops to tables or counters. If you plan to use a cable lock, make sure you secure it properly. Wrapping the cable lock around the leg of a table would be useless because someone could easily lift the table and slide the cable lock off of the leg, taking your device with it.
Cable locks aren’t the only means of physical security. Devices can be locked in drawers or cabinets, hidden out of sight. It usually isn’t a good idea to leave your laptop in your car, whether it is on a seat or in the trunk; both places can be broken into.