Make sure you have important information backed up
We may have already mentioned this once or twice, but back up, back up, BACK UP. There are so many things which could happen to your machine to make data recovery nearly impossible, if not impossible. We all do it, putting trust in the computer we use every day and this doesn't necessarily feel like a problem until it happens to you.
We can't stress enough how horrible it is to tell a customer that precious photos or documents they've been working on for months have been lost, and it's even more horrible for the customer who has actually lost their data.
Create strong passwords
When we have new customers come aboard, we do an audit. We collect all of the passwords we need and store them securely. You may or may not be shocked to know that on our recommendations list, we nearly always have to bring up that it's not a good idea to be using things like 'P4ssw0rd2017'. The best thing to do is use a selection of seemingly random upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. If you are aware your password is on the weaker side, then it might also be worth setting up two factor authentication to make it harder for people to gain access to your account.
Make sure you do your updates regularly. It's so easy to see the little box pop up, and then click on 'remind me tomorrow' every day until the end of time, but when there are operating system or software updates for your computer or laptop, sometimes they contain patches to solve security flaws which have been discovered. By not doing these updates, you're leaving your machine vulnerable to being compromised.
Think about what you're doing on Public WiFi
Although it's convenient, public WiFi which you might find in cafes, hotels, or shopping centres isn't a secure way of accessing the internet. When using wireless hot spots, it's important to only use websites and apps which are fully encrypted. It's best to avoid apps which require you to input financial details or other personal information. To tell whether a website is encrypted, have a look at the start of the web address which will begin with 'https', and to make sure you're completely protected make sure it has 'https' in the address bar for every page you visit, not just when you log in. If you rely on working remotely and using WiFi hot spots a lot, then you might want to think about using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) which encrypts the information sent from your computer to the internet, even if you're working on an unsecured WiFi network.
Who's working on your machine?
Keep it password protected, and make sure you log out or lock it if you're walking away from your computer and someone else may have access. Whilst this is perfect for making sure colleagues aren't accessing your machine on a daily basis, if your machine has a lot of sensitive information you wouldn't want someone to have access to (for example, if it got stolen) merely having password access on your computer isn't enough then you might want to think about encryption, which you can learn more about in our FREE small business security guide.
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