Windows Security Tips for Those Who Use Computers at Home – The rise in popularity of computer technology has been nothing short of dramatic. These computing devices are especially prevalent amongst the younger generations, who often have computers at home.
Windows Security Tips for Those Who Use Computers at Home
However, one unfortunate consequence is that people tend to forget the basics of security and what to watch out for online. This article will explore some basic steps you can take to remain safe when using your home computer, just as if it were a public-facing device.
Basic rules of computer security
The very basics to follow to keep your home computer safe are:
- Don’t download free online games and consider other sources of entertainment instead. You can always play those on another one later. Although they may be free, they aren’t designed to make you money or entertain you, which you should be looking for in applications and content. The only time I recommend downloading a game if it is in the public domain is if its developer has made it available for home use.
- Before performing any online banking, be sure you have privacy settings enabled. This means that the website doesn’t send your personal information to anyone else. I also recommend disabling these services and adding an extra layer of security by enabling a hidden IP address and private data settings in your router settings. This will help keep any personal information from being copied or spread around the web via automatic updates, which can occur at random when you least expect it.
- Be wary of sites that require an email address to download, sign up for a membership, or activate accounts. These sites will have all of your information stored on their servers and can be used at any time against your interests. Many are also designed to send push notifications to these accounts, which you can easily disable once you’ve signed up to avoid any further stress.
- I’ll also recommend staying away from free email sites. These have a history of being infected with malicious software or viruses and sometimes will even send you “free” games or other things to get themselves into your inbox. This can be very irritating, especially if you don’t want them there in the first place!
- Privacy is another thing to keep in mind. Suppose you use a public computer or even one home where friends, family, or children can access it. In that case, you should always clear the browsing history and personal account information before logging out of your machine. This includes banking and credit card information and other potentially sensitive personal details.
- First, it is always best to use one of the many available anti-virus programs to ensure everything is clean before proceeding. Don’t download torrents with files you aren’t sure about, especially if they contain pictures or video material. These often contain viruses and malicious software that can infect your machine with various spyware and viruses.
- Don’t open any email attachments you aren’t 100% sure about, especially if they contain pictures, videos, or files with extensions you don’t recognize. These are often designed to infect your computer with malicious software that can steal your personal information and send it overseas without you realizing it.
Using these simple rules will save you a lot of unwanted stress in the future and help keep your computer, email, and browsing experience secure at all times.
What to check for when using your computer
Although it may not seem like a big deal, some dangers are always lurking in the background, waiting to pounce and infect your machine.
These are some things you should always do regularly to keep your computer updated and secure:
- Make sure you have the latest Windows patches and security fixes installed. These will help protect against known threats, provide a much more stable experience, and boost performance. You can get a whole list of such tools here. This is especially important if you run an older operating system such as Windows XP or Windows Vista, released nearly nine years ago.
- Although Windows comes with a built-in firewall, you may find that it isn’t as secure as you’d like it to be. Enable the firewall and keep an eye out for malicious software. These are useful in blocking out potentially unwanted programs attempting to attack your computer. This is especially true if you keep your operating system updated, which will help prevent any backdoors from being installed. Keeping your machine up-to-date is essential in keeping all of this secure.
- Ensure you have all of the latest updates installed for any antivirus applications you have installed. This will help keep your computer secure by providing an extra layer of protection against malicious software. You can find out whether you need any updates by double-clicking the system tray icon, which should automatically start the process.
- Upgrade to a Windows 10 operating system. Although this newer version of Windows may come with a price tag on older hardware, it also comes with several security improvements that make it well worth the initial investment. And its regular monthly updates help keep your computer secure at all times!
- Before doing any online banking or shopping, be sure to connect to a virtual private network (VPN) instead of going through an unprotected internet connection. This will help keep your personal information from being stolen by malicious individuals. I also recommend enabling a private internet protocol (IP) address in your router settings, which will help prevent outside parties from accessing your info.
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There is no substitute for knowing how to keep things private, especially if you’re storing sensitive information and accessing your personal information.
So let’s not miss out on all of the benefits that a secure computing experience can bring by leaving ourselves vulnerable to attack! Briefing you on computer security basics will give you a good start on protecting your privacy and keeping yourself safe.
And if you do happen to come across any malicious software or suspicious emails, please report them to the appropriate authorities. This will keep other users safe and ultimately help keep our internet a safer place!
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