With the increasing demand for device integration on computer networks, we’ve seen increased risk of viruses, malware and other malicious attacks. If not proactive with network security, your computer and network are more susceptible to infection. Most people believe their computers are completely safe from harm if they install an antivirus program. While this is a step in the right direction, your computer can still become infected if not careful. A few common ways your computer can become infected is if it’s connected to the internet, or the user accidentally plugs in a USB storage device that contains a virus. With the right measures in place, you can contain the virus on your computer and keep it from spreading elsewhere on your network.
- Install Anti-Virus & Keep It Updated: When accessing websites and checking email, there is always chance that an ad or a link will direct you to a suspicious download. Anti-virus will help prevent these programs from running & changing critical system files on your PC. However, if you approve the download and ignore the anti-virus alerts you can still get infected.
- Schedule Virus Scans: Make sure you have computer scans scheduled weekly! You can program the scans to run overnight so they won’t hinder your computer or network performance during work hours. This helps locate infected files that may have made their way onto your computer. It’s important to make sure the computer is turned on during your scheduled scan time (or else it won’t execute the virus scan).
- Secure Your Network: Unique passwords for all devices connected to your network are essential. This includes devices like computers, servers, firewalls, access points and more. This helps prevent unauthorized access to your network. Speaking of unauthorized access, if an employee doesn’t need to have full access to your network to conduct their daily duties, don’t grant them full access. Also, if a computer doesn’t require access to the internet, you should disable internet access to that computer. This greatly reduces the risk of viruses & malware infecting those machines.
- Be Careful What You Click On: Any emails you receive that include links or attachments must be inspected carefully before clicking on them. Even your contacts’ email addresses can get hacked, sending you suspicious links without their knowledge. If something looks suspicious, contact the recipient or your IT company to investigate further. Sometimes suspicious pop ups appear while browsing the internet. If this occurs, close all open browser windows. Reopen your browser and continue searching for the content you were looking for.
- Backup Regularly: It’s very important to backup your data as often as possible! Backups can save you time and headaches when your computer gets infected, fails, or natural disaster strikes. In a high-production environment, your IT company should set up incremental backups that can restore lost or corrupted data the same day it occurs. Check your backups periodically, or have your IT company include you in any backup reports to ensure things are running
The Final Verdict on Cyber Security
We all know that computers are essential for storing and securing digital data. However, it should be your priority to take cyber security seriously to protect that data. Putting the right processes and technologies in place can give you a strong proactive approach against potential threats. If you have questions or concerns about your computer and network security, contact us.