Making your Mac or Windows Computer Secure

Making your Mac or Windows Computer Secure is not a matter of should you, but rather why would you not. Given the amount of security threats we see in the news recently it is important to know there are steps you can take to make sure your Mac or Windows machine is safe and secure from out side threats

In another blog post we discussed password creation and some do’s and dont’s to keep in mind. Here is a little refresher on that:
Don’t use any personal info that you think is private, birthday (yours or a family member’s), phone number, social security numbers etc…don’t use your email password for signing up to a shopping website. If you are on a Mac using Safari you can let Safari auto generate a password and save it in Keychain, a password management application built in to your Mac. There are a plethora of password management tools to choose from for multiple computer platforms these days. Choose a password or pass phrase that you can easily remember and be sure to use upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. For example, Minnesota is a simple password but could be more cryptic if written like M!nn3sot@. Be creative and have fun with it.

Is your data encrypted?

Computer encryption is another layer of security to safeguard your data in the event your computer is lost or stolen. Encrypting your data will prevent unauthorized access to the information on your startup disk.  On the Mac you can employe Filevault 2 which gives you full-disk encryption. FileVault 2 uses XTS-AES-128 encryption with a 256-bit key that can be  stored in iCloud for safe keeping. Filevault 2 comes standard on all Macs and there is no additional fee.

Windows 10 does not offer integrated encryption tools to everyone. You may have to pay for the Professional edition of Windows 10 or use a third-party encryption solution to encrypt your Windows 10 computer data. On most Windows 10 machines where the encryption is offered, it is turned on by default when you login to Windows using a Microsoft Account. A recovery key is then uploaded to Microsoft’s servers for file recovery should you ever need it. Another option for Windows users is Microsoft’s BitLocker encryption tool. This encryption tool has been part of Windows for several versions. However, Microsoft does restrict BitLocker to the following Windows 10 editions; Professional, Enterprise, and Education.

Keep your guard up!

Mac users have always touted they do not get viruses or malware like Windows users do. However with Macs having more exposure to businesses they too are becoming more susceptible to outside threats. Phishing emails, Spyware, Viruses, Malware and most recently Ransomware can be avoided if you stay vigilant. Phishing emails that look like they are from reputable sources can easily get you to click on what you think is a safe link, before you know it you have entered a site that is deploying malware on your PC or you are wire transferring large sums of money to what you think are legitimate companies. That last part is sadly a true story.

There are many third party subscription based services to guard against the attacks on your computer as well as tools that ship with your particular OS. Deciding which of these services or tools to use can be confusing. For a hands on approach you can turn on your computer’s firewall, and most modern day browsers such as Safari, Chrome or Microsoft Edge have very robust security features built in to help you guard against malicious sites and questionable downloads. If you like a more automated approach you can subscribe to an online service that will scan your computer regularly and quarantine any suspicious files found in email or downloads. Whatever you choose, it is recommend to also employ a good dose of common sense, being aware of suspicious emails and websites that encourage you to download something to your computer. When receiving a suspicious looking email it is best to not open it and delete right then and there, eliminating the threat.

Kinetic Technology Group is an Innovative Managed IT Service Provider for innovative companies with experience in computer security and has been safeguarding company computers from malicious attacks for many years. Kinetic can help you choose the right security software for your computer and keep you safe from outside attacks. If you would like to know more about Anti Virus software and subscription services for your SMB give us a call today!