As the quality of PC security systems continues to improve, so does the ability of hackers and internet pirates to circumvent the preventative measures that you put into place. The days that saw the personal computer as nothing more than a gaming system and a word processor are behind us. PC’s are now the focal point of all of the information that runs out everyday lives. Everything from bank statements to airline confirmations are submitted, read, and authorized through your PC. People insert every piece of vital information that they have into their PC in an effort to streamline and simplify their lives. While the tools that are available to us online are extraordinary, the need for wireless computer security and PC security software have never been greater. The increased amount of information that is available on PC’s has made them a prime target for cyber thieves.
Internet security is a very important subset of overall PC security. When shopping or conducting business online, be sure to look for Secured Socket Layer (SSL) certification. This encryption software has become the standard for protecting credit card numbers and other data from prying eyes, including those of hackers.
Wifi, or wireless internet, has exploded in popularity recently. More than ever before, travelers are taking laptop computers on the road and connecting to the internet through Wifi hotspots. Sometimes charging a low fee, or in some places free, these Wifi hotspots allow us to communicate via computer from points around the world. Many Wifi spots use WEP encryption technology to provide wireless computer security, but just as many do not. If you connect through a non-encrypted Wifi hotspot, it is possible that data you transmit could be seen by others in the area. Use discretion when transmitting sensitive data.
When thinking about PC security, hardware security is just as important as data computer security. Many computer users are careful to use PC security software and set their privacy settings to a high level, but never think about protecting the computer itself. Laptop computers are particularly vulnerable due to their portability, but desktop systems are not immune.
When traveling with your laptop, think about ways to keep the computer safe. A lockable case will deter thieves, but in many cases a thief will simply take the entire case to be opened at his or her leisure. Instead, lock the laptop in an in-room safe whenever possible, and be especially vigilant about its protection in large common areas such as airports. GPS tracking is available for laptops and may be worth the expense if your computer is valuable or contains sensitive data.
At home, consider what would happen if a thief broke into your house. Make your computer unattractive to a thief by storing it in a locking cabinet or chaining it to the desk or wall. A determined thief may still get your computer, but generally thieves take only what is easy to grab.
Back up your data regularly and store the backups away from the computer. You will want to be able to re-create your files if the computer is stolen. If you have especially sensitive data, create more than one backup to be stored in separate locations.
A variety of PC security techniques should be employed in tandem. This will greatly increase your odds of keeping your data safe. Using your operating system’s built-in security features, third party PC security software and physical means of protecting your computer mean that your chances of data protection are quite high. Be sure to regularly update both your operating system and your third party protective software as well.