Online Safety - 3 Tips To Protect Your Device
Picture the scene, you purchased a brand-new laptop only to find it starts to slow down a year later. This can be incredibly frustrating and you might start to think that you have to break your budget for the latest technology to fix your issues. Let us stop you in your tracks with that thought - there are a few simple things you can do right now to PROTECT your device and get it running as good as new.
In our new CyberSafe video series, we recommend some key ways to protect your device!
1. Always install the latest software updates
Good software helps stop the bad guys. Companies like Apple, Microsoft and Google are forever updating their systems and releasing security patches to proactively protect your device from the newest cyber-crime advancements. Always check for the latest updates and take the time to install them when prompted. Installing updates may mean you miss the last 10 minutes of Game of Thrones, but at least you’ll be able to load your device faster and watch the next episode buffer-free. A win-win!
2. Scan for Viruses, Malware and Ransomware
As much as the latest software updates are great, you should regularly scan for viruses and malware. By definition, a "virus" is specifically designed to replicate and spread between devices, whereas malware is a form of malicious code in all shapes and sizes that are unwillingly stored on your device to access, spy or steal personal data.
Luckily, you can automate regular scans of your entire system to stop or remove the spread of viruses and malware that might be hindering the performance of your device. A quick online search and a glance at a few articles will point you in the right direction for the most popular anti-virus and anti-malware software available, most of which are free to use.
As an extra step, take action and implement the 4 cornerstones of internet security.
3. Always back up your files
Even with the above precautions, the increasing sophistication of cyber-criminals means your device could still become infected and restrict access to your files. Whether it’s OneDrive, iCloud, Dropbox or Google Drive – such cloud software integrates with your device (and often your e-mail) to back up your files in an online environment.
Once enabled, it’s a great idea to change your default save location settings so that your files can be backed up and saved instantaneously - handy if you're on the move, come across the dreaded blue screen of death or are infected by ransomware demanding you pay money to access your files.
By backing up to the cloud, you’ve got online access to your files that would otherwise be stored exclusively on your device - however, remember to never store your banking passwords or personal information in a file on your computer or your backup device.
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