Ten Ways to Keep Your Computer Healthy and Your Files and Information Safe and Secure

How to keep your computer running fast and free of viruses, spyware, and hackers.

1. Use hard to guess passwords

Hard to guess passwords have eight or more characters, and include a mix of numbers, lower case letters, capital letters, and special characters.  Do not use words that can be found in the dictionary or common names, and do NOT use your name!


2. Always be suspicious of unexpected e-mail and attachments.

Do not open email attachments you are not expecting, even if they are from someone you know.  Viruses from your friend’s computer can send themselves to you!

3. Regularly download security updates.

Security updates and patches for your operating system and other software will keep your information hidden from hackers. (Windows/Macintosh)


4. Understand the risks associated with file sharing.

Programs to share music/movies make your computer vulnerable and open to attack!  Be sure to never give access to your computer through file sharing programs.


5. Use a firewall.

A firewall is the first step in keeping your computer hidden from intruders. Your computer’s firewall is automatically enabled by default.


6. Use anti-virus software.

Be sure to keep it up-to-date and to scan for viruses daily.


7. Use anti-spyware software.

Keep your anti-spyware programs updated and scan your computer daily.  Do your best to avoid spyware by not clicking on suspicious links or popup windows.


8. Protect your computer before heading home for breaks.

Make sure you are up-to-date with your anti-virus software and operating system.  When home, be sure to practice careful internet browsing.


9. Backup your important files.

Save your important files to a backup hard drive, usb drive, or online. This ensures that your files will be available in the event of a hard drive crash or other unexpected event.


10. Turn off your computer when not in use.

Turning off your computer is the safest thing to do when it is not in use.  It prevents hackers from gaining entry to your computer, it keeps your computer from overheating, and it saves energy to boot!


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