Three Key Steps to Secure PC Software

Secure PC software is the key to protecting your computer, mobile device and your data from hackers. Hackers, also known as cybercriminals, break into your computer for a variety reasons. They could steal or alter, or even delete information that you value. Hackers are motivated by malicious motives unlike other thieves who may use stolen goods for legitimate purposes. They are more concerned with unauthorized access to sensitive information. This can happen before you even realize there is something wrong.

Passwords, a virus protection program and firewalls are the three most important steps to protect your computer software. If you follow these best practices, your computer will be much less susceptible to being compromised by malware, hackers, or ransomware (software that encrypts your information and demands payment for unlocking it).

Change the name of your administrator account. Make sure to choose a strong password that contains lower- and uppercase numbers, letters, and computer symbols. Avoid using a short password like 1234 as hackers are able to use automated tools to break easy-to-guess passwords in minutes.

Maintain your operating system (OS) and other software up to date. The majority of software updates include security fixes to protect against hackers. Install all patches and enable automatic updates if they are they are available to reduce the amount of time when you’re vulnerable to intruders.

If you have a laptop or other portable device, make sure the drive is encrypted even when it’s not in use. This is particularly important for UF students. You can enable encryption in Windows by opening Settings > Update & security > Device encryption. This will secure the entire internal drive as well as the majority of external drives, including SD cards.

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