Computer Security – keeping your Windows PC safe

The recent computer security scare with the Wannacry/Wannacrypt ransomware attack has brought the need to keep your Windows PC safe very much to the fore. Such attacks are set to continue with ever increasing complexity and aggression. Thankfully, the same guidelines that have always applied continue to do so.

Screenshot of message showing computer security has been compromised and files encrypted

Backup, backup, backup !

You should really have 3 copies of your data.

  1. The master working copy on your PC.
  2. A local copy on an external drive which CANNOT  remain connected to your computer all the time. If you are unlucky to be attacked by ransomware it will corrupt the files on your external backup as well. Ideally, you should use a backup program that waits for you to plug your disk in before completing the backup. It should then alert you that it has finished allowing you to remove the drive in a timely fashion.
  3. Most importantly an offsite copy to protect you in the event of fire or theft. This would involve the loss of your computer AND the external drive containing the local backup. If you only want one backup system to think about then this is the one. Because you will be storing your data using another company’s service, this will not be free.

Windows Updates

Make sure these are applied within days of them arriving, no longer. This should happen automatically across all versions of Windows for home and small business users. It is quite obvious it is happening, normally at the most inconvenient time ! With the most recent versions of the Professional edition of Windows 10 there is now more control available for this process.

Click here to read more information about how Windows Update keeps your PC up to date.

Antivirus

Choose a strong antivirus program and monitor it to ensure it is updating. It should alert you if it is encountering any problems in doing so, but this is not always the case. Windows 10 does include a built-in antivirus, Windows Defender. However, this is still considered by many to be insufficient to maintain robust computer security.

Encryption

The only way to fully protect the data on your machine from prying eyes in the event of theft is to implement full disk encryption. Even if the criminal removes the drive from your machine and tries to access the data by connecting it to theirs, this will just not work with an encrypted drive. Bear in mind that you will need the Professional edition of Windows 10 to implement this.

If you’re interested in more detailed information about encryption this is a useful in-depth article.

Not sure if you have sufficient computer security measures in place?

If you’re reading this and are unsure, worried or confused by any of the above, please give me a call on 07947 989395. Advice is always free at Poorly PC !

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