“Don’t forget to protect your computer” is undoubtedly the best advice you can be given after your computer is repaired or fixed. Perhaps another and more suitable advice would be, “don’t make the same mistake twice.”

Believe it or not, a lot of computer repairs and fixing is done on issues that are either repeated because the user made the same mistake twice (sometimes even more) or didn’t find ways to protect the computer from external attacks. For the former, the user clicked on an e-mail link that opened the computer to malware attack, had the computer repaired, and then did it again. For the latter, the user simply didn’t have any antivirus or anti-malware programs installed.

We are hoping that these guidelines will, well, “guide” you to be more careful even after your computer is fixed.

Users need to be always suspicious

Don’t open email attachments or click hyperlinks in e-mails that you’re not expecting. If you don’t know the sender, delete the email immediately. If you do know the sender but the message is unexpected or suspicious, verify via call, text, or any other method that the e-mail is legitimate. If it’s not legitimate, delete it immediately.

Turn off your computer when you’re done for the day

With the growth of high-speed Internet connections, many opt to leave their computers on to be ready for the next day. The downside is that being “always on” renders computers more susceptible to attack and will tax its components to the maximum. Beyond firewall protection, which is designed to fend off unwanted attacks, turning the computer off effectively severs any potential attack connection. This is effective against all forms or botnets, malicious software, spyware, virus, adware, worms, and malware. Like any machine, give your computer time to rest.

Back up data

Back up critical data on a regular basis, and make sure those backups are available offline. Be sure your backups are not always kept on the network because leaving them connected can expose them to encryption and destruction. If you back up on the cloud, also have a physical backup such as using external hard disks and DVD’s.

Keep systems patched and up to date

Always apply the latest software patches and make sure antivirus or anti-malware signatures are up to date. In relation to the recent Petya variant attack, Microsoft patch MS 17-010 would have largely stopped the malware’s ability to spread using Eternal Blue and Eternal Romance vulnerabilities. Regular patching significantly reduces the attack surface and makes it more difficult for the attacker to get in.

Keep your computer protected

Both Microsoft Windows and Apple’s Mac operating systems come with pre-installed firewall, anti-virus, and spyware protection. They’re actually quite reliable so we suggest you use them when you first set-up your computer or laptop. Sometimes, these pre-installed software protection programs for anti-virus are for a free-trial period only. Don’t be surprised if you’re asked to pay a yearly fee after the trial period is over. This is entirely up to you now but it’s really worth the cost.

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 6:12:51 AM and is filed under Tech Tips & Tricks.

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