Computer and network security may not be the first thing on your mind when you wake up, but protecting your data from unwanted users and hackers is essential. There are many ways hackers can access your sensitive information through your computer and network. Having a basic understanding of the importance of computer and network security is valuable. Here at Auburn IT, we want to help you keep your information safe, so here’s an overview of both computer and network security.
Computer security is the protection of computer systems against unauthorized use of information. It includes any information or data that is stored on your computer, especially confidential information such as financial, client or health information. Computer security is important not only to protect your information but also to help minimize your chances of harming your computer’s health with viruses that can slow it down significantly.
Common computer security threats
Your computer is vulnerable to many security threats that can damage your computer, steal your information, or spy on your personal exchanges. Here are some of the most common threats to keep in mind if you feel tired of running a program or clicking on a link.
Disadvantages & Threats
Viruses are the bread and butter of hackers. Unsuspecting users download a program that is actually a virus and infects their computer, slowing it down and in some cases shutting it down completely. More information about viruses and how to protect yourself from them can be found here.
Phishing is a tactic used to steal information or infect a computer with viruses. It’s easy to fall for phishing activity, as hackers try to masquerade as legitimate entities that need action from you by clicking on a link or replying to a message. Hackers have become more creative with phishing activities and even send you text messages to try to get information from you.
- Installing freeware
When installing free desktop applications, make sure you’re not using fraudulent freeware, because installing fraudulent freeware makes you more prone to accidentally installing spyware or unwanted toolbars, according to sharp.
- Key logger
Key loggers are monitoring software that has the ability to track the information you type on your keyboard and use it to hack information. This is especially common with login and password theft.
Network security is the process of protecting your computer’s network from unwanted use by cyber threats. Networks and their capabilities have grown substantially in recent years, so individuals must also consider network security and computer security. Computers rely on networks to use the Internet and other functions, so a secure network is essential to protect it from hackers who exploit your device and location. It is even more important for companies to secure their network because an unsecured network can allow hackers to steal information about your company and customers, which can reflect badly on your company.
Common types of network security
- Anti-virus and anti-malware protection
Anti-virus and anti-malware software frequently scans your network for unauthorized programs such as viruses and worms.
Firewalls protect your internal network from unwanted external network use.
- Virtual Private Networks
A VPN connects you to certain networks from another endpoint. This is especially important when working from home or in a public place.
Tips for computer and network security
Fortunately, there are many ways you can protect your computer and network from unauthorized use. Here are some of the easiest ways to reduce your chances of a data breach:
- Your computer and network security services must be constantly updated to the latest version.
- Do not click on suspicious links or attachments via emails or text messages.
- Make sure your passwords are strong and difficult to guess. It is also useful to change passwords frequently.
- Use two-factor authentication processes to verify your computer and network, such as sending a second SMS to your mobile device to confirm that it’s you.
- Also protect your computer physically by storing it in a safe place. Never leave your computer open and unattended.