We live in a time when technology has moved significantly forward, and the computer has become an integral part of everyday life, both at work as well as at home. Moreover, in many areas of life, we have learned to rely on information technologies and the global Internet network, which over the past years has become the fundament of all virtual operations. Unfortunately, internet is the place where the most threats lurking for users of IT devices come from. Therefore, just as in a case of any other device, there are rules that apply when using computers, so that they become safe for us.
1. Take care of your data
Each computer is a source of data about work or about personal life of its users. Nevertheless, a computer is just a device of which continous functioning one should not fully rely. Therefore, if you store important files or documents on your computer, always remember to make a backup of them on some portable, external storage device. An ordinary USB stick or external disk with a capacity of several to several dozen gigabytes will protect important documents and files frombeing lost.
2. Remember to install an antivirus program on your computer
An antivirus program is an absolute must for any computer, especially the one with internet access. It will help protect your device against attacks and malware. Often, we may not even realize that our computer has been infected by a virus that “silently” wreaks havoc among files and reveals itself only when it is too late. There are a lot of such threats to computers, that’s why a good antivirus program, updated on a regular basis, should be installed on each device. It’s also worth remembering to regularly scan both your computer and portable USB storage devices connected to your computer, which may also become a source of malware.
Manufacturers of operating systems and web browsers regularly release updates available to all users. Usually, updates install automatically, so make sure you don’t have the automatic-update functions blocked in your computer’s settings. Why is this so important? It’s easy. Updates are aimed at patching vulnerabilities or fixing errors found in previous versions of software, which helps to maintain security on our computer.
4. Get to know your computer and be aware of its limitations
Each application, program or game has specific hardware requirements that must be met to ensure its proper operation. Some of these requirements are smaller, others larger, but it is always important to adapt the program or game installed on your computer to its parameters. Incorrect operation of the equipment, beyond its capabilities, may result in serious damage, such as breakdown of a graphics card or of a hard disk., which only causes unnecessary expenses related to the repair of damaged component, or often even to the replacement of the entire computer.
5. Use the network with caution
It should be remembered that even the best anti-virus protection will not replace common-sense in everyday use of the web. Internet fraud is a growing and increasing problem, the solution to which has not yet been found. Unreliable sellers or phishing scams are just some examples of threats lurking on the Internet. However, you can minimize those threat. All you have to do is follow a few rules given below.
Pay atention to the address of the page you want to view; in case of a secure site, a green padlock appears before the URL, and the URL starts with “https: //”; look at the page graphics and be alarmed by any change on it.
Think twice before sharing your personal data, a photo of your car, home address or evem some information on a social networking site that you have just gone on holiday abroad. The principle of limited trust in the network is advisable.
Don’t open suspicious-looking files, even if you received them in an email from your bank, friend or family member.
Cover the webcam built into the laptop. Just in case.
A computer, especially one with Internet access is undoubtedly a great invention. It helps a lot in the everyday life, but it can also be fatal to unwise users. Common sense and obeying a few rules that should be always remebered will make the equipment we use become our friend, not an enemy.