Computers have changed the way the world works. We now manage our finances online, we shop online, and we even keep in touch with people on the other side of the world thanks to the Internet and computers. Yet sadly with all of the advantages of being connected and organizing everything with the help of a computer there are disadvantages to accessibility. Hackers, predators, thieves and intruders are all criminals that have been born from the evolution of computers and the Internet. Many people are so fearful of these predators and the dangers that they present that they choose not to use a computer at all. Fortunately there are ways to keep your personal information and documents safe without having to never own a computer. Even the most novice of computer users can do what it takes to keep their personal information and documents safe. Here are some tips that will help you to get started or re-evaluate what it is that you are doing to secure the information that you store, receive and send from your computer:
Encryption- With encryption your messages are scrambled while they are in transit to their destination. So even if a hacker or thief were able to intercept that message it would be of no use to them because it would consist of a message that looked more like binary than anything that they could use to their advantage. Encryption is a feature that may come in a default setting and therefore you will need to make the effort to change those settings from default to a stronger encryption. WPA is a great wireless setting for strong encryption. It is a good idea to look into the strongest available encryption possible on your computer and make sure that you make the setting changes that are optimal.
Protect against viruses — Viruses are like miniature spies that can be implanted into your computer and used by hackers to obtain personal information from your system. While some viruses compromise only your security system, other viruses are meant to simply destroy all that they come in contact with. Either way you do not want to be host to a computer virus. There are some easy ways to protect against viruses. The first is to download anti-virus software. This software is often available free of charge and updates to the anti-virus system should also available on a regular basis. It is important to regularly update your security system so that you are protected against the newest types of viruses.
Firewall — Like anti-virus protection, firewall protection is available free of charge and also should also be updated regularly. Firewall protection not only protects your computer from contracting a virus, but if for some reason a virus sneaks through the system, firewall protection can stop it before it does too much damage. With a firewall you have the protection of a barrier to your important documents and information that you have stored on your computer.
Keep personal information personal — Technology aside there are some common sense security methods that you really need to be thinking about at all times. Personal information does not need to be stored on a document somewhere on your computer. Personal banking or financial information is better protected in a safe or in a safety deposit box. When online, there are very few occasions when you will need to disclose personal information. You should never be asked for personal banking information or any information beyond what is required to complete a purchase. Make sure that you are not overly trusting of individuals who may have a very compelling argument for needing your personal information.