Threats to confidential information and file security are a huge concern in the business world of today. With nearly all documentation being kept on devices rather than in print, it is vital that this data is kept safe through a high level of security. The risks involved if this information isn’t kept secure can be catastrophic to businesses – the possibility of malware or of complete file erasure are just the tip of the iceberg.
With that in mind, IT support company Syntax Integration have shared some ways you can protect your computer against these threats.
Know the signs
The Internet is rife with advertisements – it’s how many sites maintain their profit. And these adverts offer everything from cheap hotels, local singles in your area to free smartphones and cash prizes. Therefore, it is vital that you can identify the difference between safe advertisements and dangerous ones.
Ask yourself whether the context of the ad seems legitimate. Look for a source or any fine print. And if you’re struggling, a good rule of thumb is to be wary of any advertisement you come across online – if you want to check something out, search for it yourself.
Emails can also be dangerous territory. Phishing attempts are, unfortunately, very common and these emails can contain anything from dodgy links to downloads which can be harmful to your device. Be suspicious of any email that comes from a source you don’t recognise, which doesn’t address you by name, and which asks you to download a file, click a link, or share personal information. Chances are it’s almost certainly spam.
Avoid Unsafe Sites
There are a lot of links out there that are shared on social media, and these will usually advertise some sort of article or list encouraging you to click and find out more. It’s called ‘clickbait’, and might share a story entitled something like “You won’t believe what happened when…” or “I didn’t know you could make money doing this…” By leaving you curious and encouraging you to go against your better judgment, these can be particularly hard to ignore.
Nevertheless, your first port of call should be the source. If it’s not a name you recognise, it is probably clickbait, which will more than likely take you to a site crawling with unreliable advertisements and potentially even viruses.
Anti-Virus and Pop-Up Blockers
An anti-virus program of some kind is vital in business to keep work and documentation safe and secure. Viruses can often lead to the complete removal of all data saved and stored to the afflicted device, making it every employer’s worst nightmare. So it’s definitely worth paying extra to keep your laptops or PCs security. The payments are usually an annual subscription, but often have an option of paying monthly instead, so you can choose what best suits your business’s needs.
Pop-up blockers are another must-have in business. This removes any worry about those pesky adverts we mentioned earlier, as any suspicious links you try to open are immediately shut down so you’ll know for future reference which sites are not safe for browsing.
‘Hacked?’ is a great app available for download via Windows 10. All you need to do is input your email, and the app will tell you immediately whether your email address has been used suspiciously. It monitors all your email addresses and passwords and uses the industry-trusted database of breaches called ‘haveibeenpwned’ which scans and updates frequently. The other good thing about ‘Hacked?’ is that it will never share your email with anything outside the ‘haveibeenpwned’ database, meaning you’re not making your account less secure by using the app.