It’s human nature to make mistakes—and with the amount of time we spend on our computers at work and at home, it’s only natural that we make some of those mistakes online. We’ve put together a list of some of the most common mistakes we all make every day… and how to avoid them with some simple planning and precautions.
1. Ignoring your virus protection.
We’ve all been there—we’re working on an important document or surfing the web when our computer’s virus protection software “pops up” in the bottom corner with an important message or scan update... and we ignore it! We do this out of convenience and with the intention of revisiting the issue later, but this is rarely what actually happens. To save your computer from bigger inconveniences down the line, be sure to read every message and pay attention to important updates or risk alerts. They may save you a lot of time and hassle!
2. Skimping on password protection.
Everyone knows that passwords are important, but too often we opt for simple passwords that are easier to remember. These can be easy to guess and bypass, however, so password protection really isn’t something you should take lightly.
Contrary to popular belief, making a complex password that’s easy to remember doesn’t have to be impossible! Use a combination of characters and cases to create a password that’s personal to you—use your children’s birth dates, memorable places or phrases and combine them to make extra secure passwords. Remember… your dog’s nickname may be simple to remember for you, but it’s not necessarily easy to guess for others. Take advantage of this while defending your computer!
3. Not backing up.
Backup software is something we often think about after our data is already lost. To avoid that feeling of regret later on, be sure to back up regularly into a secure spot, like online storage or an external hard drive… or both!
While manually saving and backing up your documents is helpful, nothing beats the power of a designated backup software. Use this to keep everything safe from damage or data loss.
4. Clicking on risky links.
Most of the time, if you click on a dangerous link you don’t even know it’s dangerous. It may be from an email that seems legitimate or on a tempting social media post… but remember, if you don’t know the sender/poster, it’s not from a website you trust, or something seems fishy to you, avoid clicking on the link altogether. You’ll be able to avoid possible threats to your computer’s security that can make it harder to get work done.
5. Keeping network security low.
Not being serious about your computer network security is an obvious mistake—but you might not always know when you’re making it. Even when you work with coworkers you trust, using secure passwords and limited access on your network is important because other users can accidentally breach your security (by pressing risky links, opening sensitive documents, etc.)