Top 13 Safe Computing Tips

Don't be the latest victim

Modern societies have become ever more dependent on computers and the information that is available through them. Any serious disruption to business or personal computer usage could have a big impact on work or family life. Hardware malfunctions, viruses, phishing, spyware, identity theft, and ransomware are only some of the threats. It matters little if you are a computer expert or a new user. Safe computing practices involve both secure behaviors and physical protections—such as proper security settings and computer software.

There is constant war between cyber criminals and IT professionals that seek to keep your computer systems safe. All it takes is one little mistake or a small item of neglect to trigger a catastrophe such as a huge loss of critical data.

Below, we provide a list of important computing safety tips that everyone should consider. While many of these are not unfamiliar to most computer users, many of these practices are eventually forgotten without frequent reminder. There’s no substitute for informing your users in advance. Feel free to copy this list and share it with your users regularly.

Top 13 Safe Computing Tips:

  1. Always realize that you are a potentially attractive target to hackers. Remain vigilant and avoid thinking that it won’t ever happen to you.

  2. Manage your passwords well. Use a strong password for high-sensitivity systems such as financial institutions. Include uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols in your strong password. Use multiple passwords for different systems, and use a high-strength password for things that you need to protect most. Make all passwords easily memorable, don’t write them down anywhere, and don’t share your passwords with anyone. Optionally, you can use password management software to help you keep track of multiple passwords.

  3. Configure your computer to automatically download critical updates. Both Microsoft Windows and Apple MacOS can download and install critical updates automatically.

  4. Always be suspicious of any email messages from people that you don’t know. Look carefully at the link to ensure that it’s legitimate, since bad actors often use slight variations in spelling to direct you to a harmful web location that may begin downloading malware to your computer.

  5. Never leave any of your computers or devices unattended before locking them down with password protection.

  6. Secure any external flash drives or hard drives that contain sensitive information.

  7. Only browse sensitive websites—such as e-commerce, shopping, or banking—on a trustworthy network, and with a device that belongs to you. Your data could be easily copied or stolen on a general public wi-fi network.

  8. Ensure that your anti-virus software and its virus signatures are the very latest editions.

  9. Make regular backups of your critical data.

  10. Always be careful to know exactly what you are about to plug in to your computer—since malware spreads easily by means of infected external hard drives and flash drives.

  11. Don’t share sensitive data or compromising media on social networks. Criminals have various ways of gaining access to information such as your personal data, your place of work, school, and if you’re away on vacation.

  12. Monitor all of your active accounts for evidence of suspicious activity. Anything that is irregular or unfamiliar may be an indication that an account has been compromised.

  13. Be aware of potential attempts at social engineering, in which a criminal attempts to elicit personal information by trickery or manipulation. When someone sends a message or telephones to ask for sensitive personal information, it’s probably best to deny the request. Call the company to confirm the need for this information and inform them of your suspicion.

At HonIsT Solutions, we analyze your business needs and make solid recommendations to fit your budget. We provide software and hardware that will protect your business from computer infections and unwanted network intrusions. We’ll take the time to educate your users on best practices that will keep the bad guys away—so that your business continues running smoothly.

If you’re concerned about your network and data, do not hesitate to email us at info@honistsolutions.com, or call us at 484-272-7240. We’ll review your network and your systems and discuss areas that could benefit from improvements.