Computers at work can be especially vulnerable to viruses and other forms of malware since they may have access to both personal and company data. To avoid these threats, it is important to know how to protect your computer and keep it clean. Here are a few tips on how to stay safe from viruses and ransomware while using a company computer.
Keep your computer up to date with the latest software patches and security updates. Company computers are most often loaded with the anti-virus and anti-malware software they have chosen and trust, but it may be up to you to keep it up to date. Be on the lookout for update notifications, and if any seems suspicious, check with IT before proceeding. Some companies even have short tutorials on their specific procedures and processes for data security. If you haven’t seen one, consider asking if there is one. If there isn’t, it might be a welcomed suggestion.
Set Strong Passwords
Use a strong password that is unique and used only for your work account, and always choose a long password with mixed case and numbers. Do not write down your password. If you absolutely must write it down, keep it locked in a safe that no one else has access to. Change your password often to be safe.
Avoid Files From Unknown Sources
On occasion, we hear about someone that got a virus from clicking on a link or downloading a file. You may be wondering how to avoid these viruses and other harmful software. Viruses and other malware can enter your computer in many ways:
– The Internet: Spammers send millions of emails and attachments a day, so it’s no surprise that one may slip through and contain a virus.
– Downloading Files: If you download music, movies, or software from an unreliable website, you may download a virus or other harmful software.
– Social Networks: You can also get viruses by downloading files from social networks such as Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube.
Invest in Insurance
Regularly back up your data to protect yourself and your company in the event a breach does happen. Most companies should have cyber liability insurance in place to help work through any compromise. Still, complacence has no space here because letting down your guard is like a warm invitation to a cyber-criminal. If you think your computer has been infected, disconnect it from the network and seek help from IT support immediately.
Viruses and ransomware can be a huge headache for businesses. By being cautious about our online behavior, we can reduce the chances of these infections making their way onto our work computers. Let’s hope that with vigilance and some good old-fashioned common sense, we can all steer clear of digital viruses this year.