- Patch, Patch, PATCH!
Set up your computer for automatic software and operating system updates. An unpatched machine is more likely to have software vulnerabilities that can be exploited.
- Install protective software.
Bitdefender 2016 When installed, the software should be set to scan your files and update your virus definitions on a regular basis.
- Choose strong passwords.
Choose strong passwords with letters, numbers, and special characters to create a mental image or an acronym that is easy for you to remember. Create a different password for each important account, and change passwords regularly.
- Backup, Backup, BACKUP!
Backing up your machine regularly can protect you from the unexpected. Keep a few months' worth of backups and make sure the files can be retrieved if needed.
- Control access to your machine.
Don't leave your computer in an unsecured area, or unattended and logged on, especially in public places. The physical security of your machine is just as important as its technical security.
- Use email and the internet safely.
Ignore unsolicited emails, and be wary of attachments, links and forms in emails that come from people you don't know, or which seem "phishy." Avoid untrustworthy (often free) downloads from freeware or shareware sites.
- Use secure connections.
When connected to the internet, your data can be vulnerable while in transit.
- Protect sensitive data.
Reduce the risk of identity theft. Securely remove sensitive data files from your hard drive, which is also recommended when recycling or repurposing your computer. Use the encryption tools built into your operating system to protect sensitive files you need to retain.
- Use desktop firewalls.
Macintosh and Windows computers have basic desktop firewalls as part of their operating systems. When set up properly, these firewalls protect your computer files from being scanned.
- Most importantly, stay informed.
Stay current with the latest developments for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Unix systems.
Business Technology Centre offers Managed Services Agreements that can provide a you with managed your computer and computer network security and protection.
The ROI (return on investment) far outways the cost of data loss and corruption.
1. Data security is fundamental
Data security is crucial. All existing and new business and data processes should include a data security review. This ensures your data is safe from loss and secured against unauthorized access.
2. Plan ahead
Create a plan to review your data security status and policies and create routine processes to access, handle and store the data safely as well as archive unneeded data. Make sure you and your colleagues know how to respond if you have a data loss or data breach incident.
3. Know what data you have
The first step to secure computing is knowing what data you have and what levels of protection are required to keep the data both confidential and safe from loss.
4. Scale down the data
Keep only the data you need for routine current business, safely archive or destroy older data, and remove it from all computers and other devices (smart phones, laptops, flash drives, external hard disks).
5. Lock up!
Physical security is the key to safe and confidential computing. All the passwords in the world won't get your laptop back if the computer itself is stolen. Back up the data to a safe place in the event of loss.
Responding to a Malware Attack
In spite of all your careful steps to protect your computer, it could happen. Your computer somehow contracted a virus and it's not behaving according to expectations: it's sluggish, you can't open certain applications, or pop-up messages with warnings or ads are appearing randomly.
Another way your system may have been compromised is if your user account was accessed without your permission. Somehow someone gained access, either remotely or physically, to your system.
Was There Sensitive Data?
The most important thing is to find out if the computer's data was accessed and whether that data contained anything that could put an individual at risk for identity theft:
- If the computer only contained your own personal information and not of any other individuals, take steps to ensure your financial and personal information is protected.
- If there was sensitive data on the system that could put other individuals at risk, (e.g., spreadsheets with ID numbers, financial account information, etc) notify other users immediately.
Important Steps to take if you think you have been infected or compromised.
Disconnect and Report
- DO NOT shut down/power off the computer.
- Disconnect the machine from the network.
- This will prevent an attacker from doing further damage to your system, and from using your system to attack others.
- To disconnect your machine, simply unplug the ethernet cable, or if the computer uses a wireless connection, turn off the wireless access in your system settings.
- If you are not sure how to disconnect from the network, contact us at 07 4759 5000. Include the machine name, operating system type and version, contact person, and any other information relating to the suspected event.
- If you have sensitive data – financial account information, any identifying information (SSNs, ID numbers), sensitive medical information, or business data – on the system, include that in your request.
Note: Fees apply for all support provided unless you have a current Managed Services Agreement to cover the support required. Click here to see our fee for service rates.