Three Key Steps to Secure PC Software

Secure PC software is essential to safeguarding your device, computer and your data from hackers. Hackers (also known as cybercriminals) hack into your device or computer for a variety of reasons, such as stealing, altering and deleting information you value. Hackers are motivated by malicious motives, unlike other thieves who may make use of stolen items to fulfill legitimate needs. They are particularly concerned about having access to sensitive data that is not authorized. This could happen before you realize that something is wrong.

The three most important steps to ensure the security of your computer software are firewalls, passwords and virus protection. If you follow these recommended practices, it is less likely that your computer will be hacked by malware or hackers (software that encrypts information and demands payment for its unlocking).

Change the name of the administrator account. Be sure to choose an effective password that has lower and uppercase numbers, letters and computer symbols. Do not use a short password like 1234, as hackers can use automated tools to break passwords that are easy to guess within minutes.

Update your operating system and other software. The majority of software updates include security fixes that help protect against hackers. Install all patches, and set up automatic updates if available, to minimize the amount of time you’re vulnerable to hackers.

If you own a laptop or other portable device, make sure the drive is encrypted when it’s not being used. This is especially crucial for UF Students. Windows allows you to enable encryption by clicking Settings > Update and Security > Device encryption. This will protect the entire internal drive, as well as all external drives, including SD cards.

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