Top Tips For Improving Network Security
There was a time in years gone by when network security was something you’d only have to think about if you worked for a bank, a government office or something else where the data you held was worth a small fortune. Not anymore however as the detrimental elements of society have turned their attention to the average Joe, meaning that every single last one of us is at risk from a million and one virtual nasties that can bring very real consequences.
From identity theft to various types of fraud to spying to virus transmission and so many more examples besides, there’s really no choice other than to protect yourself up to the eyeballs or risk a fate worse than death. Well, maybe not worse, but still pretty bad. Take a look at the Best Antivirus Software for 2014.
Of course, when it comes to the biggest part of network security it is indeed the network provider’s responsibility to keep you happy and keep dodgy folks out of your business. However, they always say that charity begins at home and this case is no exception to the rule. As such, you really need to be doing all you can to make sure you’ve done your bit/s for network security in order to stand the very best chances of keeping yourself squeaky clean.
So with this in mind, here’s a look at a few tips from the security experts over at All IT Supported who literally live and breathe this kind of things 24/7:
Operating System Updates
It might seem like your current OS is still doing you proud after all these years, which chances are has led you into an “If it isn’t broken, why fix it?” mentality. However, anyone still using Windows XP should be very much aware that this is a decade-old OS and even with all the service packs in the world it isn’t nearly as secure as the latest versions of Windows. Even if Windows 8 in all its tiled goodness doesn’t float your boat, at least step up to Windows 7 and the 64-bit version at that. It’s way harder for those after your goodies to get hold of them with the newer versions of Windows so consider this step-one.
Don’t Always Work as an Administrator
When you first set up your Windows PC or laptop, the default account you set up to work with will automatically be an administrator account. What this means is that you, or whoever else logs on as the standard user, will be able to make all kinds of changes all over the place which can have a huge impact on the system as a whole. Sadly, while logged on with these options available to you, malware and viruses from the web can also access them and make changes on your behalf. The best advice is to therefore only log in as an administrator when you need to – the rest of the time you should be using a secondary account.
You might not be aware of this, but Office 2003 from Microsoft is known to be a hotbed for dodgy activities from those you’re trying to keep away from. The details aren’t important and it all comes down to the file types used by the software – all of which have been upgraded to newer, safer versions with Office 2010 and 2007. The introduction of the read-only ‘protected view’ mode also makes it infinitely safer to examine files downloaded from the web when using the newer versions of Office.
Update Programs Regularly
It can seem like a pain in the butt to keep checking for software updates for all the programs you use regularly, but it’s important nonetheless. Even the best developers on the planet are constantly finding little bugs and flaws in their work, which lead to the creation of patches and updates 100% with your own safety in mind.
And finally, the days when you could get away with passwords like “12345” or “Password” are well and truly over. Unless you want to get hacked within an inch of your life, you need to use letters, numbers, a mixture of cases and symbols too – ideally longer than ten characters at least.
Ilya Elbert works as the nationwide account executive of AllIT, a full service IT solutions company that caters to the rest of continental United States. Follow Ilya on Twitter to receive news and updates.