Q. What are the computer security basics that I should have in place?
A: Windows updates, antivirus software, password manager, MFA for online accounts, onsite and cloud backups, safe web browsing and email practices.
- Enable and apply automatic updates for Windows, software and smartphone apps.
- Use Windows Defender antivirus or a more advanced antivirus service.
- A password manager makes your life easier, logging you into websites quickly and keeping your strong passwords safe. Bitwarden (free) is a good choice.
- Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) protects sensitive accounts, e.g. email, banks, from hackers who attack these accounts. Use a free authenticator app on your phone or a Yubikey.
- Onsite backups allow you to recover fast from most computer disasters. Cloud backups protect against major disasters and local backup failures.
- When browsing the web, don’t click on links in ads or obscure websites – they can infect your device. Use a VPN service when on a public hotspot.
- Don’t click links in alarming or alluring emails from “known” companies. Only open attachments you are expecting. If in any doubt, check with the sender.
By Wells H. Anderson. Originally published in the American Bar Association online publication, GPSolo eReport.