Computer Self Defense

Benjamin Franklin said, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"

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Don't click on that warning

  • Know what fake antivirus warnings look like
    • Your antivirus software won't ask you to pay money for additional protection
  • Know what your security product looks like
  • Just turn the power off - a day's work isn't worth the risk of losing all your data on your computer

Think before you click on that email

  • Think, who is this really from?
  • Think, do I have a reason to receive this message?
  • Look to where the link goes - don't click on it just mouse over it.
    • If you think the email is legit, type the company's corporate site (like into your browser search box and go from there.

Be mindful of the time of year

  • Threats spike around tax time, Valentine's Day, Christmas and other holidays.

Use strong passwords

  • Make them long - at least 14 characters
  • Use the whole keyboard - use the lowercase, uppercase, numbers and special characters like #, @ and &
  • Mix it up - don't use the same password on all sites
  • Don't write passwords down or put them into a spreadsheet or Word doc.

By no means this is a complete list of suggestions.  Computer viruses are created daily and hackers work fulltime trying to deceive you.  You will never know or be aware of every single scam there is.  To make matters worse, just because you have an anti-virus program running, you still run a chance of getting infected by a virus or social engineering.  Practice computer self defense and have a trustworthy IT provider managing your computer network.

About Fernando Sosa
Fernando Sosa is an entrepreneur, marketer, technology consultant, project management professional, and software developer who helps businesses and organizations make the most of their information technology resources and increase revenue.