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How to Make Your IT More Secure


Have you ever clicked on an email or link or downloaded a file that lead to pure mayhem? Most of us, at one point or another, have been a cybersecurity victim, leaving us wanting to throw our computer across the room.  We all want to avoid the unneeded stress that viruses, malware, or ransomware can create.  No matter what you do, there is no guarantee that this won’t happen to you or your business, but the good news is that there are things that you can do right now to make your IT more secure.


Enable Automatic Updates

Automatic updates are a basic way for you to secure your IT.  No software is without issues, and all software should be patched regularly with security updates.  And operating systems like Windows, Mac, and Linux are no different.  For example, Windows 10 has automatic updates enabled, and it cannot be disabled or postponed as easily as it was done with Windows 7.  Microsoft updates are released every second Tuesday of the month and with automatic updates enabled will install in the background and apply during reboot.


Use Quality Antivirus

Antivirus protects your system from viruses, malware, ransomware and more.  There are many antivirus options out there.  You should choose a program based upon your needs and budget.  Avoid free versions, as they are insufficient for businesses.  Speak to an IT specialist about choosing the right antivirus for your business.


Use a Spam Filter

Email is one of the main ways for malware to get into your system.  A spam filter can filter or at least flag risky emails and removes the temptation to click.  Now, a spam filter does require testing and configuration, but it can make your mailbox cleaner and your environment more secure.  Again, check with an IT specialist on the best spam filter for your business.


Educate and Train Staff

The weakest link in IT security is people.  People choose bad passwords.  People share passwords.  People click on links in emails that launch ransomware, malware and viruses.  People fall for phishing scams and let hackers into company emails and systems.  How do you stop this?  Simple--training.  You need to educate employees about computer security.  Remind people not to blindly open files emailed to them.  Do not click on links to reset their password because it looked like it came from their bank.  Remind your employees to ask, “Hey, did you just email me a file?”  “Did someone just ask to reset the password?”  Train and educate your staff.  Make sure that you continue to remind your employees of your policies throughout the year, every year.


Use Strong Passwords

This cannot be stressed enough: DO NOT use the following as your password:  password, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8, your name, spouse’s name, or your children’s name, etc.  Also, don’t use a password more than once.  Combinations of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols make your password hard to guess but easy to remember.  However, it can be difficult to remember all your passwords and to keep coming up with new passwords.  To make things a little easier, use password managers to create and store passwords for you.  You can also use a variety of websites that will generate a random password.  Everyone, including all employees, must use strong passwords.  Make sure your routers and other internet-connected devices (like security cameras or thermostats) are not using default usernames and passwords either.


In conclusion, you can do these five things, now, to make your IT more secure:

  • Enable Automatic Updates

  • Use Quality Antivirus

  • Use a Spam Filter

  • Educate and Train Staff

  • Use Strong Passwords

For more information on how you can make your IT more secure, please contact the ProActive Information Management team today.  They can give you a free review, today, and get you on your way to peace of mind knowing that you are doing everything you can to make your IT more secure. Give ProActive a call at 804-897-8347 or email us at askus@proactive-info.com for more information.