The term cyber security can feel intimidating—as though if you get it wrong, people from the Matrix will swoop into your office and steal all of your data. Sometimes, that’s not far from the truth. Poor cyber security can leave you vulnerable to data breaches, which could include anything from the loss of important documents to a stranger using your credit card without your knowledge. Luckily, getting cyber security right isn’t that hard. The basics of cyber security include not opening strange links and protecting your account from attacks.

In this guide, we offer you 5 easy things you can do today to make your computer more secure.

#1: Change Your Passwords

When’s the last time you updated your passwords?

If you’re like a lot of people, it’s been years. Meanwhile, you circulate the same 2-3 passwords on every account you use, and the passwords you circulate aren’t that difficult to guess.

According to a recent Verizon survey, approximately 80% of all cyber attacks are related to weak or stolen passwords. And if you use that same password on multiple accounts, attackers can open up all of your accounts. That’s why you want to create a strong password and change your password often. Here are some tips for password creation:

  • Use a combination of numbers, letters, and characters
  • Use a different password for every account you have
  • Make your password hard to guess by omitting personal information
  • Ensure your passwords are longer than 8 characters
  • Don’t write your passwords down or store them

Technology like LastPass can help you keep your passwords secure without you having to memorize all of them. However, even with strong passwords, you’ll want to change your passwords about every three months.

#2: Update Your System & Applications

You know the update your computer has been trying to get you to install for the past three weeks? The goal of that isn’t just to make your computer unusable for a period of time. Computer companies are continually evaluating their systems and applications. When they discover ways that hackers could get in, they patch their systems to make them stronger.

To keep your computer from being vulnerable to attacks, keep it updated. Start today by updating your operating system, your antivirus software, your anti-malware software, your firewall, and any other applications you use regularly.

#3: Back Up Your Data

Even the most secure computers are occasionally breached. When this happens, it’s easy to lose important data you may have. That’s why it’s important to keep any data you need backed up to at least one, and preferably two, places.

These days, backing up your data is easier than ever. You can back it up on your system itself, but you can also use cloud storage systems like DropBox to back your files up externally so that if something happens to make your computer inoperable, you can still get to the data you need.

#4: Get a Privacy Screen

Not all cyber security breaches come from outside the home or office. If you deal with sensitive information on a regular basis, you may want to consider investing in a privacy screen for your computer. These shaded filters fit over your computer screen and make it difficult for someone to see your screen, even if they’re sitting right next to you. As a bonus, privacy screens often reduce blue light, which can help with eye strain.  

#5:  Lock Up Your Devices

Finally, get in the habit of locking your computer when you step away from your desk. This prevents anyone from logging in to your computer and getting into your data or buying stuff using credit cards that you have saved on your account. Learn the shortcuts for your computer so that you can lock your screen with minimal effort to save time.

Cyber security might not be exciting to talk about, but it is important. Everyone can stand to tighten the measures they use to keep their data secure. By implementing the five steps in this guide, you can get off to a good start and feel good about how your data is being protected. To learn more about keeping your business secure from cyber attacks, contact us today

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