Aside from the regular damage types of repairs I have to make to peoples’ technology, I am often attempting to repair devices that have been damaged by viruses. There are so many things out there now: malware, ransomware, spyware. The list goes on and on. Sometimes it is a lost cause and other times we can do something about it. Having a firewall and antivirus software is a necessity. Keeping your operating system up to date is another. But here are some otherthings you can do to help yourself outbefore there’s a problem.
First, be careful of having wifi on when you’re on an unsecured network. Yeah, it might be great to be able to use Facebook from your laptop while you’re at the local coffee shop, but keep in mind that not everyone using that same network will be on the up-and-up. That goes for your cellphone, too.
Keep your devices secure. Set them to lock when they aren’t in use, with a real password that’s not something simple like “password.” Put some thought into it, or use the facial recognition or fingerprint technology on your device. If you lose your phone, many manufacturers have a remote “find” feature, or you can even wipe the device if you think someone else has it. You may not be able to recover your device, but at the very least, whoever finds it won’t be able to do anything with your personal information.
I know it is a pain to remember, but use different passwords for each of your accounts. This way, if one password or site is compromised, you’re not handing hackers every one of them.
When you’re downloading something, verify that you’re getting it from a reputable site. With phones, it is best to download it from the App Store or Google Play. Read reviews if you are hesitant, and start with the lowest rated ones and not the most recent. Be sure to confirm that any sites you use when you’re on your computer are the legit sites they claim to be. If you’re not sure, don’t download it.
When on a website, before even thinking about logging in, check to make sure it is a secure network. Usually there is a little lock to the left of the website name in your browser. If it is green or locked (or both), it is a secure network. Any information you’re sending will encrypt your personal info.
For the love of your devices, don’t open a link you get in a random email. If it looks like it’s from your bank or other service you use and there’s spelling errors or it is a message asking you for your password or other personal information, don’t click on the link!
Finally, back your stuff up. It’s so easy now. Take a lot of pictures? Back them up to a cloud service. Some apps even do it automatically! You can get your pictures on every device you own, and you don’t have to worry if, say, your phone gets lost or your computer’s hard drive gets fried. Same goes for all your data. Keep it backed up somewhere. A flash drive, an external hard drive, cloud backup – something! You’ll never regret having an emergency backup. You have no idea how many times I’ve heard the phrase, “You have to fix it, my whole life is one there!” At this point, there’s really no excuse for not having a backup. Just do it already.