Three Key Steps to Secure PC Software

Secure PC software is crucial to safeguarding your device, computer and data from hackers. Hackers (also called cybercriminals) break into your device or computer for various reasons, which include stealing, altering and deleting information you consider important. As opposed to other thieves, who often have legitimate uses for the stolen items, hackers have malicious intentions. They are more interested in unauthorized access to your personal data, often before you are aware that something is wrong.

The three essential steps to ensure the security of your computer software include passwords, firewalls and protection against viruses. If you follow these recommended practices, it is less likely that your computer will be compromised by hackers or malware (software that locks data and requires payment for its unlocking).

Change the name of the administrator account. Make sure to choose an effective password that has lower- and uppercase numerals, letters and computer symbols. Avoid using a standard password like 1234, as hackers can employ automated software to hack passwords that are easy to guess in a matter of minutes.

Maintain your operating system (OS) and other software up to date. Most software updates contain security patches that help guard against hacking. Install all patches and turn on automatic updates if you have them, to decrease your vulnerability to hackers.

If you own a laptop or any other portable device that isn’t being used, ensure that the drive is secured. This is especially crucial for UF students. You can enable encryption in Windows by opening Settings > Update and Security > Device encryption. This will encrypt your entire internal drive as well as most external drives, such as SD cards.

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