Three Key Steps to Secure PC Software

The key to protecting your mobile devices, computers and data from hackers is secure PC software. Hackers, also referred to as cybercriminals, gain access to your computer for many reasons. They could steal and alter or erase information that you value. As opposed to other thieves, who often have legitimate uses for the stolen goods hackers are motivated by malicious motives. They are most concerned with unauthorized access to your personal information, often before you even realize something is wrong.

The three main steps to secure your computer software include passwords, firewalls and virus protection. If you follow these best practices, it’s less likely that your computer will be hacked by hackers or malware (software that encrypts information and demands payment for its unlocking).

Change the name of the administrator account. Be sure to select an extremely secure password that includes lower and uppercase letters, numbers and computer symbols. Avoid using a simple password like 1234 because hackers can employ automated software to crack passwords that are simple to guess in just a few minutes.

Update your operating system and other programs. The majority of software updates include security patches that help guard against hacking. Install all patches and enable automatic updates if they are available to minimize the window of time that you are vulnerable to intruders.

If you own a laptop or any other portable device that is not being used, make sure the drive is protected. This is especially important for UF Students. You can enable encryption in Windows by opening Settings > Update and security > Device encryption. This will make your internal drive and most external drives, including SD cards.

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