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 computer or other device for many reasons, including the theft, modification and deletion of information you value. Hackers have malicious motives, unlike other thieves who may use stolen goods to fulfill legitimate needs. They are most concerned about unauthorized access to sensitive information. This could occur before you realize there is something wrong.

The three main steps to ensure the security of your computer software are firewalls, passwords and virus protection. If you follow these best practices your computer will be much less susceptible to being compromised by hackers, malware or ransomware (software that encrypts your data and demands payment to unlock it).

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 password like 1234, as hackers can use automated software to crack passwords that are easy to guess in a matter of minutes.

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

If you own an laptop or any other portable device, make sure the drive is secure when it’s not being used. This is especially important for UF students. You can enable encryption in Windows by going to Settings > Update and Security > Device encryption. This will secure the entire internal drive, as well as most external drives such SD cards.

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