BASIC HOME COMPUTER SECURITY
Working from home has forced many of us to invest in a good functioning home computer. Now you wondering where to start on Computer Security to protect yourself from harm. Well, you have come to the right place. The term ‘Computer Security’ seems complex like it’s for ‘techies’ use only but boy will you be shocked that at its simplest form we can all practice this on our home devices. Computer Security basically is the practice of keeping the computer and its contents safe from any damage or loss.
In most modern households, there is at least a computer device used by all the house members. This means there is a lot of different content on there depending on the different people using it. This may range from the children with their school work and games and parents with their work, music and movies. So, lets get into the various steps one can take to ensure the safety of the device and its contents
Set up laptop area/Keep it out of reach of young children
This is the first and simplest component of Computer Security. If it is a desktop, it is definitely placed in a certain area in the house that is safe and comfortable to use. A laptop however, people tend to move from room to room to use it. This may seem okay as it was created for portability but it is also prone to damage from falling. It would be safer to locate a desk area for the device as it used by many people anyway and this allows for proper wire management by minimizing risk of tripping on the charger extension as one moves with it to different sockets around the house. Also, to be kept in mind the computer should be away from reach of younger children who may stretch and tag on the wires causing damage or hurting themselves.
This is the least mode of protection you can use to protect your work content. Strong passwords help keep unwanted people out of your business so speaking. There will always that friend or relative who may want to snoop around your house, the best way to protect yourself from this is to lock your bedrooms or other private things around the house. We apply this mode of protection by use of Passwords which are only known to household members. A point to note, we should avoid writing these passwords on i.e. sticky notes and leaving them on the computer area. Get a simple word that is known to the house members so that you avoid noting it down. There are tips on how to create strong passwords;
- Avoid common words – password
- Make it unique – Change up the word i.e. Butterfly write it as Butt3rf1y or Password write it as P@55w0rd
- Avoid personal Information – like birth dates, anniversaries, names etc.
- Try make it long and memorable
Set up your own user account
When you log into a home computer, there is only always one profile used by everybody. This can be detrimental if you have important work on a device used by everyone. Especially now that most of us are actually working from home. It is considered a security measure to create a profile for each computer user so that you can separate your work from interference. I know of a case where a lady had worked hard to create a monthly house budget on an excel worksheet and after a whole month, she was so happy with her work. The daughter in the process of working on the same laptop erroneously deleted the worksheet as she maneuvered to look for her assignment. Imagine the horror! Anyway, setting up a user profile for the home computer is easy peasy. Just search User Account in the Start Button and follow the steps to create profiles and customize it to your own liking.
This is an Anti-Virus feature in-built into Windows and it regularly scans your computer and its contents for any viruses and other harmful programs. Sharing devices can be tricky as one may transfer documents and other programs from school or work computers and unknowingly infect your home device. If you feel the device is acting iffy, you can actually go and scan the device immediately using this feature. Alternatively, since we want to keep the devices security up-to-date, we can schedule regular scans every few days as per your preference. If you are working with Windows Computer you are no stranger to the regular updates that are automatically downloaded if the computer is connected to the internet. Yes, those that regularly pop up as Windows Updates. After every scan it should point out if you are good to go in using the device safely.