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Safe Computing Tips?

Are you practicing safe habits when using your electronic devices? 

We all have an electronic device of some sort, phone, tablet, notebook or desktop computer. We all keep them charged or connected to the power. We all rely on them in some way or another. 

All electronic devices require power, that’s a given, but did you know that they also need us to keep them up to date. Both the manufacturer and software providers send out notifications for updates required for your device. You must ensure that you run both of these as sometimes for instance a Windows update is released that then needs your “Lenovo/HP/ASUS/etc” device to update its drivers to enable it all to talk to each other again. 

You should also be wary of using Free WiFi provided by café’s, pubs, hotels, etc. These services are provided but does not mean you should be using them. They generally provide limited access on the web and there is no guarantee that they are safe. If you want to do banking or confidential web based transactions we would recommend you hotspot to your mobile phone or wait till you are home on your own secure WiFi. 

Passwords are everywhere and we recommend that your portable devices are locked with a passcode or pin or fingerprint (with a pin as a backup ). This way if you leave your device unattended no-one can access your private data. You should also change these every 6 months and don’t use the same one for everything. Mix it up, it you are worried about remembering all your password, pins etc you can use a program called Keepass or 1password. These programs encrypt the data and then you only need to remember one password to get into that program if you have to retrieve any of them. 

We all use email and I’m sure we access it from multiple devices. You need to make sure you are diligent when using this form of communication. You should be wary of any attachments, links or forms you receive via email. You should always make sure they are from a safe source. For links you should hover your mouse over the link before clicking. If it doesn’t read clearly or it lists a different name then don’t click on it. Don’t open emails from people you don’t know just mark them as spam. 

You should never give access to your device remotely or in person to a stranger. If someone rings to say your device is showing an error and they need to help fix it; tell them you will take it to your IT person, don’t give them access to your device. 

Most importantly you should also do regular backups from any electronic device, especially if they have photos or important data you would be devastated to loose. We talk a lot about backups but it really is key should you lose your device or get locked out of your device or if the device gets broken. This function trumps all of the above. 

So if you haven’t implemented any of the above tips we recommend you do so. If you need help with any of them then speak to your local computer store and they will be able to make sure you have the right tools in place to help you be safe on your electronic devices. 


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