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How do I improve the safety of my PC?

We all want to protect what’s ours. So what are the best, simplest ways of keeping your computer safe?

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How do I improve the safety of my PC? image

Hi everyone, Zarte here. Hope you’re all enjoying the heat. Can’t say I am… especially as I’m installing one of those movement alert doorbells… bear with me…

“I think I’ve got it positioned right now, love? Left a little, are you sure? OK, OK, you’re the boss. How about now? Yeah? Great! I’ve just got to talk to these guys and then we’ll test it properly, yeah? OK!”

Sorry about that, I’m with you now. It’s really important to take as many precautions to protect the things you hold dear from theft and damage as possible. And these days your computer may well be at the forefront of your life, both on a work level, and a personal one, so why not take as good care of it as possible? Here are our tips for making sure your PC is safe and sound.

1. Keep it physically safe.

I know our lists nearly always start like we’re trying to teach Grandma to suck eggs, but it merits saying – you need to look after your PC. If it’s a laptop, and you’re taking it out and about, keep it with you, and keep it in a padded, specially designed laptop case. Don’t leave it unattended at any point. Sure, this article is mostly about more technological issues, but that doesn’t make this less true. If it’s a desktop, don’t store it in a cramped dusty cupboard which could jam up the vents and make it overheat. And whatever it is, don’t leave it on display by an unlocked door.

2. Set a password… and don’t give it out!

I’ve lost track of the number of people who’ve asked us to look at their PCs and not had a password. Usually we ask for the password as we’ll need to be able to log in and out of it when testing and repairing, but would advise changing to a new one when you get it returned. We’re not a threat, but it’s good practice to change your password if you’re aware that ANYONE has it. But frequently we’re told “Oh don’t worry about that. There isn’t one.” Why?! Most malicious attacks on computers will be more creative, but Windows without a password is just a no-no.

3. Keep your PC updated.

We listed this on another article recently which was about making your PC last longer, but it’s also true for keeping it protected. The strongest protection possible will always come with the most up-to-date version, so don’t roll your eyes when you see that update message – just do it! The same can be said for your Internet browser. Is there a newer version? If so, use it!

4. Use a firewall.

A firewall can be either hardware of software, and is there to regulate the types of data which is allowed to cross to and from your computer, and the Internet. Most computers nowadays have a Firewall that is automatically engaged, but will allow you to turn it off. Don’t. Most routers also have an inbuilt firewall that should prevent Internet-based threats from crossing into your network.

5. Secure your connections.

Speaking of routers, make sure that your Wi-Fi has WPA-2 security enabled. We understand that to lots of our customers, this will go straight over their heads, so if you’re one of them, that’s OK – just get in touch either with us, or with someone you trust to help you with configuration. Additionally make sure you’re only using secure, encrypted (https) connections if you’re looking at sensitive data such as emails in a public place, using public Wi-Fi.

6. Use protection.

All computers need something a little extra to protect them in the modern world. Whether it’s anti-virus, malware, spyware etc. there are threats out there which need to be found and eliminated. Personally, we advocate using our TotalCare service. Whatever level of protection and reassurance you need, it’s perfect for providing piece of mind, as you can be sure that something is looking over your PC at all times, detecting, and attacking any threats, as well as alerting us if it feels there’s something pressing that we need to know about.

7. Back things up.

As always, the best way to protect yourself is to always have a back up plan. In this case, literally. There is always SOMETHING which can go wrong that just can’t be rectified. Whether it’s technological failure, or the result of something more sinister, you have to plan for the worst. There are so many solutions for keeping your valuable files and data safe these days that it really should be a no-brainer! So there you have it – those are our 7 prime tips to keep your PC from being attacked, covering all sorts of possibilities.

If you’d like more information on any of this, or perhaps to try and buy something to help you feel more secure, whether a laptop bag, or our TotalCare service, then as always feel free to call us on 023 9298 8855.

Until next time,

Zarte