Technology is completely intertwined with our lives now. We keep all of our banking, tax, health, schooling paperwork all on computers. All of these personal information are on computers but few people know how to keep their information safe on their computers. Who knows who could be lurking and collecting your personal information. Everyone should feel sure that their computer is a safe place for their data. To ensure that you feel as safe as you should with your computer, here are some tips to help protect your information. Though they are not the one hundred percent sure, they will help keep most predators from accessing your information.

1. Keep Your Personal Information Private

Beware of what you share on a public network. Few people realize just how public any public network is. By carefully guarding and even hiding your personal information, you can help keep yourself safe. If you do share files on a public network, make sure that all files are encrypted. Encryption means that only the people you intend to read them will be able to read them. Usually telling Windows, or whatever operating system you’re using, that you are on a public network does enough to keep you safe. In rare occasions other software is necessary. If you’re on a public network, make sure you are aware of what protection your computer offers and keep an eye out for suspicious activity. Some people go as far to encrypt their whole disk. Disk encryption software is available through many companies and helps to keep you extra safe. Files will only be able to be read by people who have the encryption code. This will save you from information thieves as well as laptop thieves. Disk encryption is a huge step in information safety that should be considered if you have highly sensitive information saved on your computer.

2. Software is Your First Line of Defense

Whether you are on a public network or not, the internet is a lurking place for people who would steal your information. Because of the increased awareness about the dangers lurking in the internet, there are many companies willing to help you keep your private information private. Viruses and spyware are the main cause of most stolen information. There are many companies that offer protection from both with their software. The well-known antivirus software will check your computer routinely. It will make sure there are no viruses or spyware in the hard drive and that you do not download them. The software will check all downloads for viruses as well as checking websites and emails.

3. Keep it Up to Date

An antivirus program will do you no good if it is not kept up to date. Viruses and spyware are mutating constantly while new ones are being created. By updating your antivirus software, you will make sure these new adaptations are not going to harm you. New viruses are created to avoid old versions of antivirus programs so having an out of date antivirus program will do you no good. Understanding where the viruses are coming from will also help you. Learn to tell which ones are suspicious and which websites or downloads are normally safe. By recognizing the problems, you can be your own first line of defense.

4. Use a Good Password

Few people think much about their passwords. They are simply keys hanging on their technological key ring. Unfortunately that is partially true. Just as keys can be stolen and copied so can your passwords. That is why choosing a good password is important. For important accounts, such as your online banking account, choose passwords that are long sequences of numbers and letters. Using names, birth dates and even phone numbers can get you into trouble. If a thief can access your online bank account, he can do almost anything. It is also important to change your password regularly. It can be a little confusing trying to remember all of those passwords but its better than being robbed. No one wants to think of the internet as a place where you are could be constantly surrounded by predators and not even know it. Sadly, that is the truth of the situation. The internet is a great tool for companies, individuals and students. But the internet is being used for the wrong things all the time.

Safety on the internet is a tricky thing that few people understand. Thieves are constantly thinking of new ways to get into your computer and steal your important data like credit card information or social security numbers. That is why it is so important to keep your software up to date and to constantly be changing passwords. You can never be too careful when it comes to protecting your identity online.

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Author : Bobbi Preston

I am a software engineer work as a freelancer specialized in web and software. My interests involves programming, website development and writing articles related to Computer Science/Information Systems.

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