Most of us will have a computer set up at home for many different reasons. It might be so your children can carry out their studies, or so you can work on your own business. You also use this item of technology to complete specific tasks – there are some things you just do not want to do on your tablet or smartphone, after all.
You may think you are a safe internet user, and your family is not at risk of scams, viruses, or anything else that can compromise your security. Are you sure you have taken every precaution with all your devices, though? Here are some hints and tips you need to know, so your home computer – and any other technology in your home – is secure.
Create your own user account
You may be the only one who uses your computer, but setting up a user account will protect it from anyone who may just be walking by your property, or could pick it up on public transport. A username and password with your computer’s operating system could be your last line of defense against any unwanted users. Also, set up your computer so that it will log you out automatically once you have been inactive for a specified period.
Update your software
Check that your operating system and any programs that you run on it (including your browser and email client) are up to date and are using the latest upgrades and patches. This means that you are protected against any current security threats, and you have got a good chance of being able to withstand any new ones.
These updates are significant enough so that operating systems (such as Windows and macOS), plus popular web browsers, make it tricky for you to avoid carrying out these tasks – if you’re a Windows user, for instance, you may have noticed your machine reboots even when you’ve not instructed it to. Ensure these automatic updates are set up, too.
Add an antivirus program
It is recommended that you install one on your machine, even if it means just activating the software that may be included in your operating system. There are many programs available from which you can select – including those from FraudWatch International, offering safeguarding from malware and anti-phishing protection.
Use a safe password
You should use strong passwords on websites that will store confidential data, e.g., online banking. It is recommended that you apply a different password for each website you use that requires a login. You could use a password manager if you need assistance remembering passwords.
Be cautious when accepting or agreeing to prompts
Make sure you read and understand any prompts to install programs or add-ons before you click on the ‘OK’ button. Close the window or cancel it if you do not understand the agreement, or you do not think it is necessary to install the program.
If you are installing a program, keep an eye out for a checkbox asking if a third-party program, toolbar, or something similar can be installed. These will not be required, so leave such boxes unchecked.