Three Key Steps to Secure PC Software

The most effective way to secure your devices, computer systems and information from hackers is secure PC software. Hackers, also referred as cybercriminals, gain access to your computer for various reasons. They could steal the data, alter or delete information you consider important. Hackers are motivated by malicious motives, unlike other thieves who utilize stolen items for legitimate reasons. They are more interested in unauthorized access to your sensitive information, and often before you even realize something is wrong.

Passwords, a virus protection program and firewalls are the three essential steps to secure your pc software. If you adhere to these best practices, your computer will be significantly less vulnerable to being hacked by hackers, malware or ransomware (software which encrypts your data and demands payment to unlock it).

Change the name of your administrator account. Be sure to choose a password that is strong and contains lower and uppercase numbers, letters and computer symbols. Avoid using a password such as 1234 since hackers can use automated software to crack passwords that are simple to guess in just a few minutes.

Keep your operating system (OS) and other software up to date. Most software updates contain security fixes to help protect against hackers. Install all patches, and enable automatic updates when available, to minimize the amount of time you are exposed to hackers.

If you own an laptop or any other portable device, be sure that the drive is secure when it’s not being used. This is particularly important for UF Students. Windows allows users to enable encryption by clicking Settings > Update and Security > Device encryption. This will protect your entire internal drive, as well as the majority of external drives, such as SD cards.