Monday, January 9, 2017

How to stay safe in 2017 - Short List



Here is a short list of in my experience the most important steps you can take to keep your computer and your data safe. have I have added e few remarks for clarification.
  1. Update your software.
    Not only Windows but all other regularly used programs as well;
    for a Windows PC this includes (but is not limited to)
    -   Adobe Flash (beware of fake download sites!)
    -   Adobe Shockwave
    -   Web browser(s)
    -   Email client
    -   Java (if installed; mostly Java is not needed at all!)
    -   Office programs
    We always have to keep in mind that some programs still don't update automatically and quietly in the background! Checking manually hardly ever has hurt anything.
     
  2. Back-up to an external hard drive.
    Done regularly and correctly this currently is the only protection against ransomware viruses!
     
  3. Use a password manager.
    For single machines see Keepass, for more than one machine see LastPass and include all cell phones and tablets in the count!
       
  4. Use a unique password for every account.
    Everybody has many, many accounts; you need a password manager!
     
  5. Use random passwords
    Easily done only with a password manager!
     
  6. Turn on two-step verification everywhere you can.
    If you have a cell phone that you really use, otherwise this is pretty useless.
     
  7. Read and think(!) before you click.
    "My" first commandment for safe computing.
     
  8. Enable full-disk encryption
    On a single home computer? Only protects your data when the machine gets stolen.
     
  9. Put a six-digit PIN on your phone and set the phone to wipe it's contents if the PIN is guessed wrongly too many times.
Do you have questions to any of that? Please feel free to ask them in the comments, I will reply. Maybe not immediately but I will.

Stay safe.


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