Three Key Steps to Secure PC Software

The most effective way to secure your devices, computers and data from hackers is secure PC software. Hackers (also known as cybercriminals) attack your device or computer for many reasons, including taking, altering, and deleting information that you consider important. Contrary to other thieves who usually have legitimate reasons for the stolen items hackers are motivated by malicious motives. They are more concerned with unauthorized access to your sensitive data, often before you even realize something has gone wrong.

The three most important steps to secure your computer software include passwords, firewalls and virus protection. If you follow these best practices, your computer will be significantly less likely to be hacked by malware, hackers, or ransomware (software that encrypts your information and demands payment to unlock it).

Change the name of your administrator account. Choose a strong password that contains lower- and uppercase letters, numbers and computer symbols. Avoid using a password that is short, like 1234, because hackers are able to employ automated tools to crack easy-to-guess passwords in minutes.

Keep your operating system (OS) and other software up-to-date. Most software updates include security fixes that protect against hacking. Install all patches and enable automatic updates when available, to minimize your vulnerability to hackers.

If you have an laptop or any other portable device, make sure your drive is protected when it’s not in use. This is especially important for UF Students. You can enable encryption in Windows by opening Settings > Update and Security > Device encryption. This will protect your entire internal drive and a majority of external drives, such as SD cards.






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