Top 4 things you should be doing right now

From time to time, we are asked about computer security.  Actually, we get asked a TON of questions about computer security.  In this post, we will cover the Top 4 things you should stop doing right now – as it relates to computer security.

1.  Quit leaving your laptop in your car.

This is probably the easiest thing to do, but we have seen it too many times where a client or someone that we know will be in a hurry, leave their laptop in their car, only to return later and realize that the computer has been stolen.  Do yourself a huge favor and either lock it up or take it with you.  The amount of work it takes to notify your clients that their data has been compromised is significant.  Not only is it time consuming, but they will question your professionalism – no doubt about it.

2.  Get your password situation squared away.

If your password is still ‘abc123’ or ‘password’, then you should get your password situation fixed – and in a hurry.  Easy, guessable passwords are easy targets for attackers.  Make their lives as miserable as possible by updating your passwords to the latest reasonable standard.  In fact, NIST has updated their minimums to include 8 characters – up to 64! – and that applications must allow ALL printable ASCII characters including spaces, UNICODE characters and even emoji!  Your data can be way more protected if you follow these standards – instead of using your dog’s name as a password to all things critical.

3.  Have licensed and current Anti-Virus/Anti-Malware software installed.

Making sure that you have current and active anti-virus and anti-malware software installed should seem like a no-brainer – but it has made the list.  We see folks with no – or very outdated – antivirus software on a pretty regular basis.  Our point to them is that it is always easier to prevent than restore.  So many issues for users start with an Internet-browser and click bait.  Making sure your Anti-Virus software is installed and current is just good sense (and insurance).

4.  Have a backup program in place (and have tested that it is working).

We have another post on this item specifically – Data Disaster Prevention and Recovery.  At the end of the day, if you do not have a back up and have not tested that it is working on a regular basis, you are playing with fire.

So, follow these Top 4 things you should stop doing right now and reduce your tech headaches and attack surfaces by a lot.