Tech Tuesday: Five Home Computer Tips
Date posted: September 2, 2014
Ever wondered what best practices are for using your home computer online?
Here are five useful tips from Decoda’s IT specialist, Derek.
1) Personal Profiles: Create a separate user profile/account on your home PC for your work activities that is completely different from your personal/family account. Make this work account a ‘non-administrator’ account. This will protect you from most of the rogue automatic installers, which can install viruses or malicious codes. (Even better – make all accounts non-admin.)
2) Anti-virus Software and Firewall: Install Microsoft Security Essentials or Avast! Free Antivirus and schedule them to scan every week at night. All modern operating systems (or OS’s – both Windows and Mac) have a built-in Firewall. Ensure that this is always enabled when online.
3) Updates: Regularly update your Operating System (Windows Updates/Mac updater): scheduled daily (at night, when you’re least likely to be online).
4) Plugins: Keep software and plugins updated (things like your browser/Adobe Flash/Java). There are websites where you can update all of your programs at once – check out www.ninite.com
5) Passwords: do not use the same ‘easy’ (eg. word123, qwerty1234) password for all services. Definitely use a strong one for work and personal banking systems.
6) Backups: Back up all of your data (not just on a USB Flash drive). The best are Clouds and/or External Hard drives – the more backups, the better!
Remember to use your common sense. Stay away From “Rogue Websites” and avoid clicking on suspicious ads (even on known websites – they could even be suspicious ‘program update’ ad pop-ups!). In fact, just viewing a page with an infected flash ad, could potentially infect your computer. Ensuring that all of your software is up to date will help to prevent virus infection.
In short, here are some basic safety rules:
– Avoid opening unknown Emails
– Never divulge sensitive information (personal or professional)
– Avoid ‘deals that seem too good to be true’
– Stay away from ‘questionable’ websites
Remember these basic guidelines, and enjoy your time online!