Insurance companies are clever at making money. So, why are they not calling to every household offering to insure home computers against malware or mal use or data loss: all real problems that beset PC data? The answer is simple: the risk is too high. If they did offer cover, the cost would be prohibitive. The solution is to protect the data yourself. That is not too difficult if you follow these ten rules.
If you’re new to the PC, take a short course in its use. This is vital if you are to understand and implement the other nine rules.
Install anti-malware software from a known reputable company, like PC Whiz. Enable automatic updates of that software so that the latest threats can be recognized and neutralized.
Enable automatic updates of the operating system. In Windows, this setting is easily accessed through the Control Panel.
If your PC is connected to a WiFi network, ensure the router’s wireless access has a security password and change the password regularly. When that password has been set up, the user of any computer attempting to access the network will be asked to input that password. Normally, this has to be done just once for each computer. For additional security, confine network access to specific computers and printers identified in the router by their Media Access Control number (MAC addresses). Simply put, the hardware in your computer that communicates directly with the wireless router has a unique identifying number assigned at the time of manufacture. This is called the MAC address. No other hardware anywhere on Earth has the same MAC number. Instructing the router to allow access only to hardware, whose MAC addresses are registered with it, means it will block network access to any other hardware.
Pay attention to warnings your anti-malware software may display about dangerous websites and other issues it identifies as possible threats.
Don’t install software from unknown or unverified sources especially illegal or pirated software.
Connecting any external media to your PC or network, including disc drives, CD ROMs, DVDs and memory sticks, is a security risk. For that reason, it is essential that your anti-malware software be configured to automatically check all such devices as soon as they are connected to your PC or any other PC on your network.
Allow only those you trust and whose computer literacy is not in doubt to have unlimited or unsupervised access to your computer or your network. In the case of family members, ensure that they all have received basic computer training as mentioned in Rule 1.
In case any malware should manage to slip through all the security, make sure that the anti-malware software is configured to scan your PC automatically and regularly. This should be done for all network PCs. Although automatic regular scanning is usually the default setting on anti-malware software, it is important to make sure it is enabled.
Regularly back-up important data files to an external drive.
You wouldn’t allow a person who’d never taken a driving-lesson to borrow your car. You wouldn’t leave valuables in the trunk without locking it. So why take those kinds of risks with your computer? Following these ten simple rules should greatly help you have a trouble-free PC experience.