Computer Security: Misc

This is the last post in a multi-part series on computer security essentials. I am not a computer security expert but there’s some basic computer security essentials that a surprising number of people don’t understand. The aim of this series is to raise awareness of these. I will be covering password vaults, two factor authentication, devices and local encryption.

I’ve covered passwords, password managers, multi-factor authentication and VPNs so far in this series of posts. This final post aims to wrap things up with a few other areas where you can aim for good personal security practices.

Computers

  • Encrypt the contents of your computers. Mac OSX has File Vault in built in. I don’t use Windows but I see Windows 10 now has BitLocker built in.
  • Set a long pass-phrase style (rememberable) password for your computers.
  • Have a password protected screen saver start within 15 mins or less of inactivity on your computer, and set up a shortcut to quickly lock your computer.
  • Install/activate anti-virus: Windows 8 and up has Windows Defender in built, Avira is a good option for OSX.
  • Enable your firewall.

Devices

  • Set at least an 8 digit pin or strong password for your phone/iPad (iOS supports these as custom length pins).
  • Don’t use a pattern to unlock your device.
  • Ensure your Android device has encryption enabled.
  • Enable iOS Find my iPhone, or Android Device Manager to locate and remotely wipe your phone.

Home

  • Make sure your home router firmware is current and you aren’t using the default password.
  • Set a strong WPA2 passphrase password for your wireless network.
  • Buy a document shredder and shred any bill, letter, document or boarding pass you are getting rid of – boarding passes contain a surprising amount of personal information about you so be careful sharing photos of your boarding passes on social media.

Are there any other personal security tips or techniques that you would like to share? Do you do all of the things mentioned above?

 

Author: Alister Scott

Alister is an Excellence Wrangler for Automattic.

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