Personal safety has been in particular focus in recent months thanks to the threat posed to human life we have been exposed too. We’ve all become far more conscious of not only who surrounds us, but also the effect we might have on others. We should, of course, always pay attention to our physical safety but also to our financial, electronic and psychological safety too.
These areas are commonly breached via the technology we use daily and most likely take for granted. Our smartphones, tablets and computers if not properly secured open us up to all manner of abuse whether it be of our bank accounts or anything even more sinister. There are different types of breaches that can usually be grouped into categories – from hackers, from viruses and behavioural issues. So how do you ensure you, and your family, are kept safe in the tech world? Read on to find out…
Protection from hackers
For reasons only known to them, some people in this world take great pleasure in accessing others’ data and systems. It can be with the intention of stealing money but sometimes, it is simply to cause anarchy! By following these tips, you can help to protect yourself:
- WiFi – be careful which networks you access and only ever use trusted ones. Free ones that are publicly available are great for hackers as the connection you make with it opens your device up for easy entry
- Anti-malware software – there are specialist programs that you can install on your machine that will detect suspicious hacker-type behaviour and block their access to your machine. It doesn’t need to cost the earth and can be far cheaper than having to right the wrongs of an attack
- Alerts – your email, social media or any other accounts that might house secure and personal data often have an ‘alert’ function to let you know when someone has tried to sign in from an unrecognised source. You should always have to verify sign in to certain types of accounts so ensure these alerts are turned on and if you get one that looks questionable, investigate it
- Phishing – never click on a link from an email and enter any private information on the site you land on even if it seems legitimate. You need to be extremely vigilant as these sites can look and feel secure – if in doubt, call the company in question
Protection from viruses
A computer virus is typically described as “a piece of code which is capable of copying itself and typically has a detrimental effect, such as corrupting the system or destroying data”. And if one gets into your machine it can destroy everything so protect yourself with the following:
- Anti-virus software – in much the same way as anti-malware works, anti-virus software is an affordable way to stop viruses getting into your system and wreaking havoc so invest in one to protect yourself
- Updates – systems and programs release updates for a reason. That reason is usually improved functionality but it can sometimes be to correct errors or bugs that might be chinks in the armour, opening up exposure to viruses
- Clickbait – don’t open anything from people you don’t know, whether it be an email, an attachment or even clicking on a link. All of these can result in a virus getting in and is known as ‘phishing’
Sometimes, you can have all the right software in place but then you can go ahead and allow emotional abuse or other such problems. Protect your loved ones with:
- Privacy settings – make sure that social media accounts (and everything else) is as locked down as it can be by limiting profile views and what strangers can see
- Monitoring tools – there are certain tools available particularly for social media that can bring your attention to negative posts or messages that might be made about your child or other loved one. These tools that also monitor outgoing, as well as incoming content, can give you the peace of mind that nothing untoward is being said by your child too
- Parental controls – there are accessibility restrictions which can be placed on your web browser which will limit what your child is able to see, thus keeping them safer online
- Locks – by ensuring that the lock function is turned on for all devices, including the auto-lock function and ensuring that passwords are in place (and ones that are not very easy to guess!), you will increase tech safety almost immeasurably
- Education – teaching the less informed how to stay safe online is a key way to preventing any issues before they arise
Staying safe on your tech
These days, machines even have in built security settings that work to enhance whatever additional software you might install on them. For example, this HST Optimus i5 PC has hardware to give you better peace of mind for your on- and offline activities.
This isn’t a preventative measure but backing up your work can prevent a lot of lost time and even money if you do suffer a security breach. So, just make sure you do what is needed and back everything up in a separate location to re-install if needed.
The internet, and technology are wonderful things when used safely with the right protection in place. So follow our tips and you’ll have a much better chance at keeping your machines away from negative activity.