Let’s talk about disaster preparedness for your computer. In another talk, we will cover disaster preparedness for your business, office or home.
For the first part of this, lets talk about the different things you need to do, be aware of, for where your computer is.
* Home – I’ll cover it here but in each location you need to think about who has access to your computer.
* Kids – At an early age the kids in your home probably have the expertise to install software on your computer. They devour games. There are a huge number of games that can be downloaded from the Internet for free. Some of them may come with spy-ware that is listed in the contract the operator must agree to proceed with the install. The contract is always short, to the point and tells you exactly what you are agreeing to. NOT… In truth, many are almost unreadable and are big enough to hide all sorts of things you would not agree to if you actually read it. You may get unwanted spyware, key loggers and several other bad things installed along with the game. Don’t even think of allowing this if this is a corporate computer that travels to your office or otherwise connects with the corporate network. Make a rule that all software installs are overseen by the owner.
* Keep the computer in a public area where adults can see what users are doing at all times.
* Office – This implies that the computer is owned by the company. Be sure you do not store any personal information on the office computer. If it is on the office computer, the company owns it. The same goes for personal email stored or accessed with the office computer. On the same note, understand that the company has every right to read your email, text messages, chat sessions and anything else you might think is personal.
* Away or public places – Physical security is first here. Want to nap while waiting for the plane to load? Wrap your leg or arm around your computer bag or any other bag for that matter. If someone tries to take it from you, it really outta wake you up. When getting online, be sure you are not sharing your folders or other devices with anyone.
* Social Media – How many times have you seen someone post something on Facebook that makes you think “That’s way too much information”! I actually know someone who told that they were going to stay in their new house that night and was surprised when their old house got broken into. Think about what others might think when you post something. Would a prospective employer decide to pass on you because of something you posted? Restrict what people can see about your posts and profiles.
* Virus Protection – Don’t skimp here. Within a few weeks of buying that new computer, put on a permanent virus scanner with Internet protection. The virus scanner that comes with the shiny new computer times out after a few months. Your not supposed to ignore this. Turn on automatic updates. Be sure your other software is up to date as well.
Why is Microsoft such a target for viruses, trojans, and other malware? There are two reasons. First, Microsoft operating systems are everywhere. They are a big target. Second, their operating system and application programs are vulnerable to hacks. It’s that simple. Why would someone write a virus or trojan for a little used operating executing a little used program. Go after a big target. I’ll have to admit that I don’t understand why bad guys do this anyway.
Most of this is nothing more than being diligent in how your computer is used and what is allowed to run on it. Most is simple and practical. Execution seems to be the hard part.