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Three Key Steps to Secure PC Software

The best way to safeguard your devices, computer systems and data from hackers is to use secure PC software. Hackers, also known as cybercriminals, snoop around your computer for many reasons. They can steal and alter or erase data that you value. Hackers have malicious motives unlike other thieves who may make use of stolen items to fulfill legitimate needs. They are most concerned with unauthorized access to your personal information, often before you realize that something is wrong.

The three essential steps to secure your computer software are firewalls, passwords and protection against viruses. If you follow these best guidelines, it’s less likely that your computer will be compromised by hackers or malware (software that locks information and demands payment for its unlocking).

Change the name of your administrator account. Be sure to choose an effective password that has lower- and uppercase numbers, letters and computer symbols. Avoid using a simple password like 1234 as hackers could employ automated software to crack passwords that are easy to guess in minutes.

Keep your operating system (OS) and other software up-to-date. The majority of software updates include security fixes to help protect against hackers. Install all patches and enable automatic updates whenever they become available to minimize the amount of time that you are vulnerable to hackers.

If you own a laptop, or any other portable device that is not being used, ensure that the drive is encrypted. This is especially crucial for UF students. Windows allows you to enable encryption by going to Settings > Update & Security > Device encryption. This will encrypt the entire internal drive as well as most external drives such SD cards.

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