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Common Security Mistakes That Make Your PC Vulnerable

Common Security Mistakes That Make Your PC Vulnerable

The trend toward greater digital connectivity took a big leap this year as countless employees the world over found themselves working at home, along with students attending online courses and everyday people seeking to stay connected with friends and family, do their shopping, and more. The end result is greater exposure to cyber criminals who have been quick to take advantage of this “new normal.”

Unfortunately, many assume that these criminals are primarily concerned with attacking businesses and governments, but information is power and that includes your personal data, which you may inadvertently be leaving vulnerable.

Here are some common security mistakes and ways to fix them.

  • Not Changing Your Windows Password. When you get a new PC, it comes with a default password (or none at all) which is little better than an open door for protecting you from hackers. The first thing you do should always do is change it, replacing it with a strong password.
    • Select Settingsfrom the Start menu.
    • Click 
    • Click Your Info.
    • Click Manage My Microsoft Account.
    • Click More Actions.
    • Click Edit Profile.
    • Change the password.
    • Restart your computer, signing in with the new password.
  • Not Changing the Wi-Fi Access Password. Another password that should be changed is the default Wi-Fi access, lest you find your neighbour watching Netflix on your network, or something even worse. Aim for a password of 15 or more mixed characters (numbers, letters, punctuation).
    • Open your router’s configuration page. The default IP address should be 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1 though this should be shown on the router itself.
    • Log in. Your password should appear on the bottom or side of the router.
    • Select Wireless Security or Wirelessupon logging in.
    • Select Wi-fi Password.
    • Enter the new password.
    • Click on 

 

  • Not Changing the SSID. This one is a little less obvious to some, but when setting up your network, change its name (the SSID). This will make it harder for hackers to determine the type of router that you are using. This matters because should a hacker know what kind of router you have, they will know how and where it is vulnerable. Be aware that if your router creates multiple networks, each will have its own name. Change each one, avoiding names that reveal personal information. Make this change even if your router has the option to hide the SSID.
    • Open your router’s configuration page. The default IP address should be 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1 though this should be shown on the router itself.
    • Log in. Your password should appear on the bottom or side of the router.
    • Select Wireless Security or Wirelessupon logging in.
    • Enter the new SSID.
    • Click on 
  • Not Backing Up on the Cloud. Your best means to protect against your data being lost or compromised is cloud backup. Having your data stored in the cloud makes it more secure than your hard drive. In most cases, a private cloud provider is sufficient for personal use. Backups can be scheduled daily or weekly and will securely store your data in a remote site that you can access as needed. An easy-to-use version is Google backup. To use it:
    • Connect to your network.
    • Install Backup and Sync.
    • Choose the folders and files that you wish to backup.
  • Not Using a VPN When Connecting to Unfamiliar Networks. A virtual private network (VPN) will encrypt your data when using an unfamiliar network, scrambling it to make it unreadable by hackers. VPNs are designed to protect your PC when connecting in locations such as hotels, restaurants, airports, and more. You may sign up to a paid VPN service, which will allow you to route your traffic through their servers, or make use of Windows built-in VPN as follows:
    • Enter VPNin the Windows search bar.
    • Select Change Virtual Private Networks (VPN).
    • Click Add VPN.
    • Enter the details of the new VPN.
    • Select Windows(under VPN Provider).
    • Change the VPN type to automatic.
    • Select a username and password.
    • Enter the server name and connection name (may vary according to VPN).
    • Click the Wi-Fi icon found in your taskbar.
    • Select the newly created VPN and it should connect automatically.

 

These are some of the means by which you can make your PC more secure but are far from the only ones. While these will help to protect your network and your data, some other actions to take include encrypting your hard drive, keeping your router’s firmware up-to-date, and monitoring for unknown connections.

Even following all these recommendations, you should continue to research ways to protect your PC. As much as you adapt to cyber threats, cyber criminals will adapt to find new means of attack. Ultimately, the best way to protect yourself and your PC is to continue learning about emerging threats and how to counter them.

Every business should assume they have either been attacked, are being attacked, or will be attacked. Fast detection and swift response are the small business owner’s only defense.

You can access my Free Ebook=> “WHAT’S AT STAKE FOR YOUR BUSINESS?” 

If you suspect you may have a data breach. It is essential to get it check out immediately.

Thank you for letting us share this information with you.

We hope this information is helpful we want to make this as easy as possible for you, eliminate the learning curve, and inform you all about the dangers your company may face when exposed to cybersecurity.

We love hearing your feedback and on your cyber concerns

Dan Stratton | Chief Technology Advisor 
Safe Harbour Canada | Safeharbor USA | “Smooth Sailing"

W: https://www.shi.co 

If you have an imitate concern about Cyber Security or would like to chat. Please don’t hesitate to give me a call a 6042955355 or email me at  info@safe-harbour.ca