Source for this article: https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/11213-secure-computer-from-hackers.html
When the glossy sheen of the World Wide Web started to dull – sometime in the mid-to-late 1990s – computer users were beginning to witness the downside of connectivity, and they did not like what they saw.
Tons of spam washed over every email account, and computer viruses wreaked havoc on business networks. A terrifying criminal element emerged that extended the definition of thievery to include infiltrating your computer, stealing personal information, tricking you into revealing private data, and using that data to steal and extort everything from your business secrets and bank account to your identity.
Despite that, most businesses large and small rely on the internet to track their financials, order and maintain inventory, conduct marketing and PR campaigns, connect with customers, engage in social media, and perform other critical operations. Yet, with startling frequency, we hear about massive computer breaches at even the top companies.
Small businesses are responsible for preventing these crimes from harming company property and stealing consumer information. Here are some steps you can take to protect your company’s computer integrity.
1. Use a firewall.
The two major computer operating systems have built-in firewalls, software designed to create a barrier between your information and the outside world. Firewalls prevent unauthorized access to your business network and alert you of any intrusion attempts.
The first thing to do with a new computer (or the computer you now use) is to make sure the firewall is enabled before you go online. However, you can also purchase a hardware firewall from companies like Cisco, Sophos or Fortinet, depending on your broadband router, which also has a built-in firewall that protects your network. If you have a larger business, you can purchase an additional business networking firewall.
2. Install antivirus software.
Computer viruses, keyloggers and Trojans are everywhere. Antivirus programs such as Bitdefender, Panda Cloud Antivirus, Malwarebytes and Avast immunize your computer against unauthorized code or software that threatens your operating system. Viruses have various effects that may be easy to spot: They might slow your computer to a halt or delete key files.
Antivirus software plays a major role in protecting your system by detecting real-time threats to ensure your data is safe. Some advanced antivirus programs provide automatic updates, further protecting your machine from the new viruses that generate every day. After you install an antivirus program, don’t forget to use it. Run or schedule regular virus scans to keep your computer virus-free.
Visit McAfee Activate guide to learn about how to install and activate McAfee antivirus via mcafee.com/activate.
3. Install an anti-spyware package.
Spyware is a special kind of software that secretly monitors and collects personal or organizational information. It is designed to be hard to detect and difficult to remove, and tends to serve up unwanted ads or search results to direct you to certain websites.
Some spyware records every keystroke to gain access to passwords and other financial information. Anti-spyware concentrates exclusively on this part of the nuisance spectrum but is often included in major antivirus packages like Webroot, McAfee and Norton. Anti-spyware packages provide real-time protection by scanning all incoming information and blocking threats.
4. Use complex passwords.
Using secure passwords is the most important way to prevent illegal intrusions onto your computer network. The more secure your passwords, the harder it is for a hacker to invade your system.
More secure often means longer and more complex: Use a password that has at least eight characters and a combination of numbers, upper- and lowercase letters, and computer symbols. Hackers have an arsenal of tools to break short, easy passwords in minutes.
Don’t use recognizable words or combinations that represent birthdays or other information that can be connected to you. Don’t reuse passwords either; if you have too many passwords to remember, consider using a password manager like Dashlane, Sticky Password, LastPass or Password Boss.
5. Keep your OS, apps and browser up to date.
Always install new updates to your operating systems. Most updates include security fixes that prevent hackers from accessing and exploiting your data.
The same goes for your favorite apps. Today’s web browsers are increasingly sophisticated, especially in privacy and security. Be sure to review your browser security settings in addition to installing all new updates. For example, you can use your browser to prevent websites from tracking your movements, which increases your online privacy.