Three Key Steps to Secure PC Software


Secure PC software is the key to safeguarding your computer, mobile device and data from hackers. Hackers (also known as cybercriminals) hack into your computer or other device for a variety of reasons, including stealing, altering and deleting data you consider valuable. Contrary to other thieves who usually have legitimate reasons for the stolen goods hackers have ulterior motives. They are more concerned with unauthorized access to sensitive information. This could happen before you even know there is something wrong.

Passwords, a security program and a firewall are the three most important steps to protect your computer software. If you follow these best practices, your computer will be much less likely to be compromised by hackers, malware or ransomware (software which encrypts your data and demands payment for unlocking it).

Change the name of your administrator account. Make sure you choose a password that is strong and contains lower- and uppercase numerals, letters and computer symbols. Do not use a password that is simple like 1234 as hackers could employ automated software to hack passwords that are easy to guess in a matter of minutes.

Update your operating system and other programs. The majority of software updates include security patches that help guard against hacking. Install all patches and turn on automatic updates if available, to reduce your vulnerability to hackers.

If you have a laptop, or any other portable device, ensure that the drive is secured when not in use. This is particularly important for UF students. You can enable encryption in Windows by opening Settings > Update & security > Device encryption. This will secure the entire internal drive as well as most external drives, such as SD cards.