Computers become essentials nowadays, whether you use it for personal use or work or both. You need to know how to secure your computer physically and digitally as it is really crucial and important.
These days, computer are becoming important assets on improving our daily live. That’s including works, personal or entertainment. We use our computers to do office work, banking or personal.
Hence, this make computers become target by criminals out there. Physically, they can re-sell your computer for money. Digitally, they mess your data for fun, or steal for money, by threatening you or sell your data to 3rd party for financial gains.
By this, is very crucial for you to take your computer security seriously and starts take action if you never do so. In this article, I will show you how to secure your computer physically and digitally.
How To Secure Your Computer Physically
Don’t leave your computer unattended
Especially when you’re using it outside of your home. I’ve experienced where I saw this guy at the coffee house, just left his laptop on the table and went for toilet without locking it!
Can you imagine? I’m not sure whether his trust level is at maximum level, or he believes this world has no crime or maybe it’s just a social experiments for his Youtube or Facebook. I don’t know. But, this kind of act is absolutely wrong!
Even in your house, if you have guests or relatives come visit, you should not leave your computer or laptop unattended. Imagine, if your laptop is stolen, are you willing to blame your guests or relatives? And cause a family fight? I don’t think that is a wise action.
It’s better you keep your computer in safest place. Better careful than sorry.
Cable lock your laptop or computer
Cable lock your laptop or computer into your desk like when you are in office. Keep the the PIN lock or key just for yourself.
Keep away anything that can harm your computer.
You are tired. You are hungry. But you are very busy and it is not possible to leave your desk. A cup of coffee or plate of meal won’t hurt your computer, untill you acciddently spilled over it. Keep away any water and foods from your computer.
How To Secure Your Computer Digitally
Set a strong password.
You are not just only need a password, but you need a set a strong password. Strong password mean, password that are hardly to guess as it will contains at least 15 characters, uppercase letters. lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.
Strong password does NOT HAS username, your name, nickname, friend’s name, family’s name, date of birth, dictionary word or keyboard password.
Below are the example of strong password:
Below are the example of weak password:
(Above password is for example. It’s not recommended to use those password as your password)
Encrypt your harddrive.
Setting up a password is not a complete protection of your files inside your computer. In case your computer is stolen, criminals can still access your files.
To protect your files, you either encrypt your files or your hard drive. Both have pro and cons. By encrypting your files, it will be protected from someone who try to access directly on your hard drive or if the files are stolen digitally via network (like virus).
By encrypting your hard drive, should your computer is stolen, there is no way the criminals can access your hard drive and files. But this will not protect your files from being access if it stolen via network.
However, encrypting hard drive should be sufficient enough if you have installed Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware.
If you are using Microsoft Windows, you may utilize Bitlocker as it already a built feature.
Install Anti-virus and Anti-spyware.
This is the very basic things of protection. Most anti-virus today already came with Anti-Spyware and ransomware protection.
It is really recommended to buy anti-virus as it offers maximum protection of your machine.
You may use free anti-virus, but do note, it only provide basic protection. Some developer offer free anti-virus solution but does not offer realtime-scan protection. It only capable for manual scan or scan on demand.
But, never ever forever and never use cracked or pirated anti-virus. The one who cracked the anti-virus usually will install spy agent to monitor your computer activity and use it to financially-benefits them. So, please don’t.
Install Internet Security software.
Usually Anti-virus provider will also offer this kind of protection within their products.
By installing this, you don’t need to worry when browsing any website. A good Internet Security software will protect you from malicious website and any threats related to network.
For example, it has global list of malicious URLs. So whenever you are trying to access malicious website, and it match with one of the URLs list, the app will blocked the access.
Some solution provider offer reminder if site you are trying to access is not protected with SSL (in other words HTTPS).
By enabling firewall, it will protect you from malicious activity coming from the network.
For example, some may try to access your computer anonymously via port 3389, remote desktop connection. So, if you block the incoming port, no one can access your computer via RDP.
Another example is on SMB port, 445. It is related to Wannacry Ransomware threats. This virus will propagate via this port. Not only that, if there are someone knows your login id, then can easily copy any files from or into your machine.
Backup your files frequently.
It is advised if you backup your files frequently (at least your important one) to cloud storage or external drive. In case your file is corrupted, infected or lost, you may recover the file from backup.
Ensure system and applications always updated
Updates not only to ensure your system and application working properly, but it also can If you work in an organization, you may implement virtual patching to all of your organization’s device.
Virtual Private Network(VPN) protect your data and identity while you are on the internet. It will create a “secret” or tunneling from your computer to VPN server, and then to the website that your are browsing.
By this, website will not able to track your data while your are visiting their site. You can surf the internet anonymously and safely. Even your ISP will not able to trace which website you have visit.
You may choose a good VPN provider such as NordVPN as it offer multiple connection at a time, at cheaper price.
Set up sandboxing in your computer.
If you have decent computer’s spec, it is advisde for you to setup a virtual machine or sandboxing for your internet activity.
The purpose of sandboxing is, as a test environment or extra-layer of protection when browsing or downloading from internet.
By this, incase you accidently download malicious files or virus from the internet, your local computer and files will be saved from threats.
Once you have download any files from internet into your virtual machine, you may perform scan on the file and try open it. Monitor if it produce any malicious action. If you are sure that file is safe, you may enable folder sharing between virtual machine to your local drive. Then move the file.
When it comes on computer security, it is recommend not to take it lightly. You may assume there will be nothing wrong going to happen. So, it’s very important for you to know how to secure your computer.
You have to protect it physically by cable lock it into your desk, put away any materials that can harm your computer or don’t leave it unattended.
Your computer also must be protected digitally by set up a strong password, install anti-virus, enable firewall, use VPN and encrypt your hard drive.
Thanks for reading this article. I hope you find it useful.