Keeping PCs safe and secure is mission critical for any business. For all the advantages and opportunities PCs, data and the digital economy provide, they also present attractive targets for criminals and vandals. Many businesses invest in third-party security products and solutions – and many of these provide excellent value – but the best place to start with PC security is with your users.

Here are ten simple tips:

  1. HTTPS is better than HTTP: websites addresses all begin with ‘http’ (Hypertext Transfer Protocol); ‘https’ addresses are secure (the ‘s’ indicates they use the Secure Socket Layer/Transport Layer security protocol) and should be preferred. If you do land on a malware-infected site, hardware tools like HP Sure Click can help prevent your PC from being infected.
  2. Protect your identity: be smart and don’t use the same password for multiple sites. Or simplify things and use a password manager (there are lots of options, and many are free) so you’ll only need remember one password – the app will do the rest. Finally, look for features like HP Multi-Factor Authentication, which further fortify your security.
  3. Security questions: when a site asks you to include security questions, go for the obscure options, not easy questions that, for example, an attacker could easily scrape from your social media accounts or other publicly available information.
  4. Update everything: set your apps to automatically update (or at least, to automatically find updates and notify you they’re available). Updates aren’t just about adding or improving features, they also often contain security measures to counter new and evolving cyber-attacks.
  5. Use your OS: modern operating systems include lots of ‘baked in’ security measures, such as Windows 10’s array of features. Many of them function automatically but you should check your configuration to make sure you’re taking full advantage.
  6. Use your hardware: modern PC makers, like HP, often include advanced security features such as Sure State, Sure Run and Sure Recover, to protect, defend and repair your hardware.
  7. Use a VPN: virtual private networks keep your browsing safe and secure, by routing your internet connection through the provider’s untraceable encrypted systems. They can’t read your traffic, and neither can anyone else.
  8. Take care with email: email remains a powerful attack vector, with sophisticated criminals sending emails that purport to be from your bank, the government or some other trusted entity. Never send your password or login details and if you have even the slightest suspicion about a message, contact the sender through a different channel to verify the message.
  9. Don’t click!: exercise care when opening attachments to emails or messages. If you don’t know the sender, don’t open the attachment, even if it’s something innocuous like a PDF. HP Sure click can help protect your PC from infected attachments (as well as websites).
  10. Use your common sense: the best advice we can give is to use your judgement. It’s sad but true that while computers have expanded our ability to access, share and use information, they’ve also expanded criminals’ ability to scam, steal and attack us.

It’s helpful to regularly refresh your hardware and software so you can take advantage of the latest technologies, many of which work in the background and require little set-up or administration. In combination with security-aware users, your business will be as safe as you can make it. No PC can ever be 100% attack-proof, but you can certainly make it as difficult as possible for cyber criminals to attack your business.

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