Three Key Steps to Secure PC Software

Secure PC software is crucial to protecting your device, computer and data from hackers. Hackers (also called cybercriminals) break into your computer or other device for various reasons, which include stealing, altering and deleting information you consider important. Hackers have malicious motives unlike other thieves who steal items to fulfill legitimate needs. They are particularly concerned about the unauthorized access to sensitive information. This can happen before you even know that something is wrong.

The three main steps to protect your PC software include passwords, firewalls and virus protection. If you follow these recommended methods, it’s less likely that your computer will be hacked by hackers or malware (software which encrypts information and demands payment for its unlocking).

Change the name of the administrator account. Be sure to select a password that is strong and contains lower- and uppercase numerals, letters and computer symbols. Avoid using a password with a shorter length such as 1234 because hackers can employ automated tools to crack passwords that are easy to guess within minutes.

Update your operating system and other software. The majority of software updates include security patches that help guard against hacking. Install all patches and enable automatic updates whenever they become available to minimize the amount of time you’re at risk to intrusions.

If you own a laptop or another portable device, be sure that the drive is secured when it’s not in use. This is particularly important for UF students. You can enable encryption in Windows by going to Settings > Update and security > Device encryption. This will encrypt your entire internal drive as well as most external drives, such as SD cards.

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