GeekCause is your go-to service for getting technical help for your non-profit organization, especially for those in the Nashville area. Our volunteer technologists can help you with problems with your network, your point-of-sale system, your database management and all sorts of other technical platforms that can bring your organization to its knees if they encounter a problem.
You don’t want to create technical problems that should have never happened in the first place by committing the dreaded user error. Here are five basic tips for keeping your computer and your data safe.
1) Stay Current
Computer threats are always evolving and so are operating systems and patches evolving to combat them. Both Apple and Microsoft provide updates on a regular basis, and you should be sure to check for them on a regular basis. If you use a Chromebook, you’re being updated automatically already.
2) Use Strong Passwords
Have different passwords for different sites, and make them strong with upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols. If you use the same password on multiple sites, you’re inviting hackers to have access to you on multiple platforms. This is especially true for sites that house your sensitive financial information. A good solution is to use a password manager. Popular choices include Splash ID and Last Pass which manage all your passwords.
3) Be Smart With Your Email
Everybody knows not to open the email from a descendant of the Emperor of Outlandia requesting a wire transfer of millions, but most scammers and phishers don’t use such blatantly obvious tactics. Don’t download any file you weren’t expecting or don’t recognize. In fact, it’s a good idea to not even open any email you don’t recognize, if possible.
4) Keep Your Bluetooth And Wireless Connection Off When Not In Use
Bluetooth signals can originate anywhere and leaving your computer or device’s Bluetooth on can open them up to malicious attacks. The same applies with your wireless connection, although there are rarely times these days when don’t want to be connected. If you are using a public connection like in a hotel lobby or coffee shop, avoid accessing any of your sensitive data.
5) Be Smart When Traveling
When you’re on the road, never leave your computer unattended for any length of time. Even if you have the screen locked, someone with bad intentions can still access your data. Think twice about location sharing. If you travel often and document it, that’s fine, but if you don’t, it might open a vulnerability at home, depending on your living situation. Also, disable auto-connect to WiFi, make connecting a process so you always know what network you are on.