If you own a computer, your data protection is most likely at risk if the proper data security measures have not been applied. Protect yourself, your home computer or your computer system that your business heavily relies on with these computer security tips from Northern Arizona IT services, Prescott.
What is a hacker? A hacker is a person who uses computer programming language for intentional malicious purposes for destroying or gaining access to computer systems and other digital devices that most likely hold important and valuable information. This could be for personal gain such as accomplishment or to make a statement, or to for stealing confidential information. or
What is malware? It is the combination if the words “malicious” and “software”. It is a software that is designed to gain unauthorized access into computer systems, accessing and potentially destroying files, more commonly known as a virus, trojan, worm, and other names.
Here Are Some Data Protection Tips That You Can Start Applying Today
1. Keep Software Up to Date
Data security can be as simple as choosing to update your software when notified. Software companies are constantly on guard to protect their customers from getting hacked. Believe it or not that have their own hackers on staff to try to gain unauthorized access into their own software to find weak points. If weak points are detected, then remedied, the system needs to be updated with the latest safety precautions in place. This would be a reason why your computer software would give you notifications that an update is available and to install.
2. Use Free Antivirus Software
For businesses unfortunately there is not an option for free antivirus systems, though there is a selection to look through to find the best one for your business needs. A network firewall security is highly advised for businesses to protect computer systems.
3. Continually Backup Your Computer
The safest bet is to store your files with one of the cloud services, an external hard drive, or with a computer back up service. This way, if your computer system gets hacked and you are unable to access your files, they will be backed up in an external system to retrieve. That is a huge relief!
4. Educate Your Employees
Sometimes network security can be breached with out malicious intent, and by simple human error. Shared or saved passwords, accessing the company’s database over an unsecured network (while working through the 3pm afternoon slump at the local Starbuck’s, ahem), the theft of a company device, or clicking on a link from a spam email.
Now, this isn’t full proof, but educating your employees on all the ways their devices can be vulnerable to cyber attacks and data breaches may reduce some of the chance of unintentionally allowing unauthorized access.
5. Block Pop-Up Ads
Every web browser has the access to turn on and off the pop-up blocker. Some websites have pop-up ads to try to trick or entice consumers to sign up, enter email, subscribe, etc. to their service. They may even have your click on a link that can infect the computer. For total protection, turn on the pop-up blocker for all sites. Your web browser usually asks to turn the pop-up blocker off if it is disabling access to a credible site.
Also – it is important to train staff to not enter any information or click any links from pop-up ads.
How to Tell if Your Computer Has Been Hacked?
There are signs that make it evident that your computer has been hacked. One is, your frustrations levels will start to increase as the efficiency of your computer starts to decrease:
1. Slower than Normal Computer Performance
The speed of your computer has decreased and is much slower than it used to be. Clicking on links and navigating from here to there used to be a breeze with great speed, now you are tapping your fingers waiting for webpages to load.
2. Slow Loading or Continuous Buffering
Streaming videos used to be enjoyable, now they are a major annoyance as you watch the loading icon constantly spin, or your video keeps getting interrupted with “buffering…” Your quick “How to…” Tutorial just added more time and pressure onto efficiently finishing a project.
3. Not Another Crash…
Logging into your most used program that you rely on daily for tasks and completing projects all of a sudden keep crashing on you. Feeling the load of low productivity, the frustration of yet another crash is starting to weigh on you.
4. System Failure and Error Messages
If you have ever experienced your computer screen suddenly turn all blue, or all black with what looks like programming code and a blinking curser that is prompting an action or relaying an error message, and out of fear you pull the plug on the computer for a forced shut down.
5. An Increased Frequency of Pop-Up Ads
The risk of downloading materials from the Internet is the increase of pop-up adds along with downloading a virus or hacker access. Hackers and malware can embed bookmarks into your computer or install apps on your device without your knowledge which allows the nuisance of pop-up ads.
6. A Jump in Data Usage
You may receive a message from your Internet provider telling you that you have exceeded your data usage and you must pay a fee or increase your monthly data. Or, if your service has unlimited data, check the monthly data usage to see if there is an unusual increase in the amount being used. Malware activities and the doings of hackers will be causing the jump in this usage.
7. Unusual or Unexplained Online Account Activity
This is a creepy but a good one to look out for as it is a real data security threat – watch activity in your online accounts that you did not do, such as purchases you didn’t make in your order history, emails you did not send, or even your login activity; check to see the last time the account was logged into and if it was you or not.
Email accounts, streaming entertainment accounts, banks accounts, etc., they are all vulnerable to getting hacked. Hackers can gain access to your passwords and logins and start having a field day with free range in your personal accounts – the more cognizant you are the safer you will be.
What to Do If Your Computer System Has Been Hacked
For peace of mind, fast, accurate and knowledgeable help, the best thing to do if you feel that your computer system has been compromised by a hacker or malware – call the pros to take examine the situation.
What’s great about professional IT Support is that they stay up to date with the latest in malware and virus activity. They are familiar with the details and can take the best approach to remedy the situation. Another great advantage to hiring an expert for your IT Services is they can most likely tell how the computer got infected or hacked and help to establish the best data security going forward.
Who to Call for the Best Computer Repair Prescott
Northern Arizona IT has been in the information technology services for over ten years. With the experience, knowledge, and great customer service, your computer security is in excellent hands of care.
For any questions about your data security on your computer system we are happy to help.
Give us a call to learn more and to see how we can help.