Information Technology Security is a core feature at System of Systems IT Consultants and we think about it a lot. There are three parts to identify for a successful IT Security environment to keep you safe, whether it is for a business or a family.
The first part is the technology. The security flaws inherent in technology can make or break any IT Security plan. The second part involves the people using the technology. Even the smartest people will make mistakes that open the door for hackers. The third and final part is the overall environment. Here we talk about the type of attacks going around and how they could affect you. For example, a few years ago ransomware was not a problem, but now it is an existential problem.
Here are simple ways to stay secure online. These are just tips and not meant to replace a robust IT Security plan.
Update your devices. This is the simplest one and yet the most powerful. Make sure your devices are updated all the time. Have a managed-services IT company proactivity manage your business systems. For everything else, make sure the auto-updates are on and always restart your devices when prompted.
Have anti-virus. There is no excuse for most people not to have anti-virus. Get a paid version for your laptops.
Delete unused software. If you’re not using software more than once a year, then remove it. You can always install it later. The less software you have, the less risks they’ll bring in.
Turn your firewall on. All desktop operating systems have a firewall to protect your data from uninvited outside access. Have it on all the time. Search Google for your operating system firewall settings or contact us.
Don’t go to stupid sites. This is one of the most important tips we can give: do not browse bad sites. Sites that have pirated software are full of hackers.
Browse safe with SSL. Make sure the site you’re on is HTTPS. Our site, https://of.systems, is encrypted to protect your communication with us from hackers, as well as verify who we are. There are also browser add-ons that will first check for HTTPS before going to HTTP, as well as having the option to block all HTTP traffic.
Use VPN on public networks. Treat free wifi, or any public wifi, such as a school, the way you would with parking your car in a parking lot: lock it up! VPNs will encrypt your communication on these networks, albeit at a slower network speed. That’s the trade-off with security.
Change passwords often. We hate it too, but you have to change your password. Set reminders for every 90 days and never use the same password. Check out Have I Been Pwnd to see if your password has been stolen in a hack.
Technology changes quickly – too quickly! – so we are not going to suggest recommendations that could be outdated in weeks for products here, but you can contact us through our secure website for further tips.
Andre Preoteasa is the founder and CEO of System of Systems IT Consultants in Newark, NJ.