data

Keeping your computer data safe is one of the most important challenges facing business owners today. Security threats are a growing issue for small businesses as well as major corporations, as evidenced by recent computer cyber-attacks against several large businesses and government entities.

Indiana University’s Information Technology Department lists their top four suggestions on common things you can do to protect your computer:

— Use security software such as Windows Defender or Microsoft Security Essentials. However, make sure you only have one antivirus program installed so they don’t work against each other. IU’s teckies also suggest installing and running Identity Finder, a tool to help you search for, protect, and dispose of personal information stored on your computer, file shares, or external media.

— Practice the principle of least privilege, which means not logging into a computer with administrator rights unless you must do so to perform specific tasks. That’s because running your computer as an administrator (or as a Windows Power User) leaves your system vulnerable to security risks especially when visiting unfamiliar Internet sites.

— Use a secure, supported operating system and keep your software updated by applying the latest service packs and patches. Programs such as the Secunia Personal Software Inspector alert you when your current software applications are out of date or in need of a security update.

— Frequently back up important documents and files to protect your data in the event of an operating system crash, hardware failure, or virus attack. The experts recommend saving files in multiple places using two different forms of media (e.g., Cloud Storage, Online Resources, or USB flash drive).

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