Computer security and protecting your company’s intellectual property is a necessity in today’s digital world filled with hackers and pirates and all the scary people in dark rooms etc… So here are some basic rules of thumb to follow when protecting that precious data:
1) Always use a secure password. I recommend at least eight characters long and NEVER use words that are in the dictionary. Also, use special characters. The difference in how long it takes to crack the passwords “computer” and “ComPut3R!” is mind boggling. A well designed hacking tool can discover the password “computer” in about 30 seconds ( maybe less ). The time it would take to hack the password “ComPut3R!” is potentially years. That’s because by using lower-case letters, upper-case letters, numbers, and special characters ( the ! ) you increase the number of possible combinations exponentially.
2) Don’t let people trick you into giving them access. This one is huge, it’s been widely said that the biggest security flaw with computers is that they require a user. Meaning even if a computer’s security is a masterpiece in the state-of-the-art, it still get’s used by a human being and that human being can be fooled. Many companies find out every year the hard way how easy it is for some social engineer ( or con-artist ) to come in posing as “The Fire Inspector” and just let him/her roam the facility doing whatever they want. Get credentials, verify they are who they say they are by calling into their employer ( using an official phone number from a phone directory ). It’s worth the extra 5 minutes, especially if they are looking to rob you blind.
3) Do security updates. Everyone puts just a little too much faith into automatic updates. It is important to manually check for security updates on a regular basis. And I’m not just talking about your operating system ( that’s Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, etc… ), but also applications you use on the computer. Some people are diligent about doing Windows updates, but never bother to update their non-Microsoft software. And that can leave you VERY vulnerable to an attack. The rule? If you use that software regularly, update it regularly and uninstall a program if you never use it.
I hope these tips help you all out. And remember, if you are in Appleton, Oshkosh, Neenah, Menasha, or Milwaukee; we can service you and make sure all of your computer and tech systems are as secure as possible.