Three Key Steps to Secure PC Software

Secure pc software is crucial to safeguarding your computer, mobile device and your data from hackers. Hackers (also called cybercriminals) are able to hack into your device or computer for a variety of reasons, including the theft, modification and deletion of information you consider important. Hackers have malicious intentions unlike other thieves who may use stolen goods for legitimate reasons. They are most concerned with unauthorized access to your sensitive information, usually before you know something has gone wrong.

Passwords, a virus prevention program and a firewall are the three most important steps to secure your computer software. If you follow these basic best practices your computer will be much less susceptible to being compromised by hackers, malware or ransomware (software which encrypts your data and demands payment to unlock it).

Change the name of your administrator account. Choose a strong password that contains lower- and uppercase letters, numbers and computer symbols. Avoid using a password that is short, like 1234, because hackers can use automated tools to break passwords that are easy to guess in just a few minutes.

Keep your operating system (OS) and other software up to date. The majority of software updates include security patches to help guard against hackers. Install all patches and enable automatic updates as they become they are available to reduce the amount of time you’re at risk to intruders.

If you own an laptop or any other portable device, make sure the drive is secured when not in use. This is especially important for UF students. You can enable encryption in Windows by opening Settings > Update and security > Device encryption. This will secure the entire internal drive as well as all external drives, such as SD cards.

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