6 Easy Computer Security Tips

Paige Omandam
Nov 30, 2017
With the number of online users increasing, cyber security breaches are becoming more common than ever. In 2014, about 110 Million Americans fell victim to hackers and the numbers continue to increase. It is more important than ever to take computer security seriously. Without taking the proper precautions, you can be at risk of having your personal information leaked and your privacy compromised. In honor of National Computer Security Day, here are six simple tips to keep your devices safe and secure.

1. Cover your device's camera.

If people like James Comey and Mark Zuckerberg do this, you probably should too. In this day and age, it's easier than ever for hackers to infect your computer with programs that allow them to access your computer's camera remotely. The idea of someone being able to see you and hear you without you knowing is extremely unsettling, so give yourself some peace of mind and take these precautions. To cover your device's camera, all you need is a piece of solid colored tape, a sticky note, a sticker, or any adhesive that can be easily removed.

2. Don't let your passwords be frail and weak-- bulk them up!

Picture your passwords as security guards. Do you want a frail, weak security guard like "123456" to be the only line of defense between a hacker and your personal information? Of course not! You want someone like "r60Vpw?VB2!RweUeEx3", a muscular, powerful, powerhouse of a password that can knock a hacker off their toes. Some of the best practices for creating passwords are:

- Use a lengthy mixture of numbers, symbols and capitol letters
- Avoid consecutive numbers or letters
- Avoid information like your name, birthday, or other guessable information
- Never use any word you can find in the dictionary.
- Use multiple passwords
- Always keep your password a secret

3. Know the difference between HTTPS and HTTP

Ensure that the website you're putting your personal information on are secure by always checking for that extra "S" at the beginning of the domain name. That extra "S" can be the difference between a website that puts your information in danger and one that is trustworthy. HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, which means that there is an encrypted connection between the web server and your browser. This means your passwords and credit card information will be kept secure on this website. If you own a website, make sure to buy an SSL Certificate to ensure your visitors that the website is safe and secure.

4. Recognize suspicious emails.

Once you can recognize the tell tale signs of a suspicious email, you'll never fall for any scams. Always read through an email thoroughly and check who sent it before clicking on any links. Be on the lookout for these common traits of scam emails:

- Urgent or threatening language
- Offers of easy money
- Offers for investment opportunities
- Offers for health or diet solutions
- Links to fake websites

5. Install an Anti-Virus and Malware Software

This security precaution is a no-brainer and will give you peace of mind while browsing the web. By updating your software and scanning your computer routinely, any viruses or malware can be recognized and eliminated before they do any harm to you.

6. Be wary of your wireless connections.

Password protect your home wifi and proceed with caution when using public wifi. Never use public wifi to deal with personal documents, purchase items online, or do any other online activities that put personal information at risk.
Don't make yourself an easy target for hackers-- take these precautions and educate others to keep their personal information safe.

Written by Paige Omandam