Author: Same Fowler

So You Need To Secure Your Data?

If you’re just realizing that it’s super important to secure your data on your computer, then you’ve come to the right place.  And don’t worry, better late than never.  The thing about computers is that your data can be erased very quickly.  And it won’t just delete one thing, like losing a photo album.  It will delete everything!  You could lose years worth of documents, photos, and other things in one big swipe.

This is why I implore people such as my friends and family, to employ the strategies that I am about to list for you right here in this blog post.  It could save you a lot of time and money one day.

Back Up Your Data

First of all, before you install any security on your computer, ensure that you have a reliable backup plan in place.  I highly recommend using a cloud backup solution such as BackBlaze.  I really like Backblaze and it has saved my life a couple of times.  When I was in the middle of a paid job and my computer’s hard drive broke, I had to use Backblaze to restore it.  It saved me hours and hours of time that I would have had to spend re-doing the work that I had already done.

Backblaze in that sense was worth its weight in gold.  So, if you want a mindless solution to backing up your data, I would definitely look into Backblaze or some other similar solution.

Protect Your PC

If you need to protect your PC from attacks, then learning about everything first is a very good idea.  I highly recommend a site called We Hate Malware, where you can learn all about the best ways to protect your computer from cyber threats.  Another great educational site is Krebs On Security and the Wired tech blog.  These are great for education on the state of computer security.  Knowledge is indeed power in these types of situations, and avoiding getting attacked is a great way to be.

Programs such as Spyhunter 4 and Malwarebytes are excellent defenses against the dark arts of computer viruses and malware.  These days it’s a little hard to determine what is a virus and what is malware, but malware is a bit more prevalent.  This is because hackers have learned how profitable it can be to steal someone’s banking information and either use it or sell it on the black market or “dark web.”

Don’t Browse Bad Neighborhoods

Another thing that you should do from now on is to avoid bad internet neighborhoods.  These are areas of the internet that often harbor viruses and malware.  Things such as adult sites, gambling, and hacking forums are hotbeds for criminal activity.  You will want to avoid these at all costs, or if you must browse them I recommend getting a separate netbook that has zero personal information on it that you can wipe and restart easily if a virus or malware gets onto it.

 

Have you had an experience with computer malware or a virus and didn’t have your data backed up?  Or did you?  Tell us in a comment below!

 

 

6 No-Brainer Tips to Avoid Getting Hacked

Cyber-attacks are today’s reality. Every new day, there are people and businesses getting hacked. Even the “big guys” are not safe. The hackers seem to be ahead of everyone else leaving all of us vulnerable. However, although there are no guarantees for cyber security, you should never allow yourself to be an easy target for hackers. You can substantially protect yourself by avoiding some careless cyber mistakes that could put you at a higher risk of hacking. Here are a few ways to limit your exposure:

1. Make Sure to Log Out

You must develop a habit of logging out of all your accounts. Shutting down your computer is not equal to logging out. People can access your information from your open email or social media accounts. While using a machine in a public place, make sure you have logged out or locked the computer whenever you need to step away.

2. Avoid Clicking on Suspect Links

Suspect links include unexpected links, links in unrecognizable emails and links that promise access to sensational stuff. Hackers love infecting computers with malware by enticing users to click on links to get access or open an attachment. Some phishing and spam emails are hard to distinguish, and the golden rule is to avoid anything you did not expect to receive. You should also exercise caution when clicking social media shared links. Typically, avoid the sensational ones and ones shared by unverifiable sources.

3. Update Your Passwords and Don’t Reuse

There is an argument whether complex passwords can protect you or not. Of course, it’s better to have a password that ‘s hard to guess but which you can remember. It’s also important to update your passwords regularly. As you update, avoid the urge to recycle passwords. Hacking is not the glamorous job movies make it appear. Sometimes, putting together enough combinations of available information is all it takes to guess a password rightly. Being creative, avoiding generic and unchanged passwords and updating passwords periodically can go a long way in ensuring your cyber safety.

4. Use Anti-virus Software

The software might not be the answer to cyber-security, but it is a useful part of it. While sophisticated hackers can’t be stopped by using an antivirus, the software offers a layer of security. Update your antivirus software and heed any warnings of attacks and infections.

Anti malware software is also helpful because sometimes malware programs can sneak by even the best antivirus software.

5. Secure Your WIFI network and Use Public Wi-Fi with Caution

Wi-Fi networks can offer an easy hacking point to your laptop, accounts and network. As a rule, protect your network with a password and an updated security software. While using public Wi-Fi networks, avoid accessing your sensitive data.

6. Never Download from Unknown Sites or Shop Online on Insecure sites

A lot of hacking is done through the offering of free printables, wallpapers, and software. Never download from sites you neither inherently know nor trust. When shopping, make sure that your browser is showing the locked padlock or unbroken key symbol. The site’s address must also begin with “https” and not just “http”.

Although cyber security is a myth, you can easily avoid unnecessary exposure. Hackers rely on internet users’ gullibility more than their own tech skills. Understand that hackers are always on the loose looking to hack for fun or otherwise. Their skill is more about tricking you rather than your computer. They can take advantage of your trust, greed or altruistic impulses. Give them a hard time. Utilize technical solutions, pay attention and remain skeptical.

5 Powerful Tricks to Increase the Speed of Your Computer

As time goes by, the speed of your computer may began to decrease, and the computer may take a long time to respond to your actions e.g. surfing the internet, opening files and folders and so on. Before you make up your mind to buy a new computer, first go through the following list of simple things you can do to speed up your computer today.

List of things you can do to improve the speed of your computer:

1. Scan your Computer for Errors
The easiest way to ensure that your computer runs faster the next time you use it is scanning it to see if there are any possible errors. Basically, your computer’s operating system is a collection of files performing different functions. Overtime, theses files may become corrupted leading to a decrease in the speed of your PC. Using the “System File Checking” utility solves these errors, thereby improving your computer’s speed.

2. Scan for Virus, Adware or Malware
A virus is a little, nasty program that causes various problems to the users. Sad but true, all computers are vulnerable to virus and this might have a high effect on their speed.
Additionally, presence of spyware and adware programs (which are created by manufacturers to help them fetch more information from customers for the purpose of improving their marketing strategies) on your computer may add to its decreasing speed.
Regular scanning of your computer for viruses, adware and spyware is therefore a great way to speed up your computer.

3. Uninstall Unused Programs
If you have installed many programs on your computer, uninstalling the ones you don’t use might improve the response time of your computer. How do more programs affect your computers loading speed? Well, when you install a program, a direct link is created between the program and the operating system. This means that even if you don’t use these programs, they can slow down your computer.

4. Defragment your Hard Drive
If all the above tricks haven’t worked for you so far, you can try defragmenting your computer`s hard disk to see if the speed will increase. This is based on the fact that if you have loads of information on your computer, Windows usually place different parts of the same file on separate locations of the hard drive. Defragmenting the disk therefore place all the information related to a single file in one location, leading to a higher response time.
It’s highly advisable to first back up all your work on a different hard disk, or CD when defragmenting your computer to avoid data loss. Also, ONLY defragment your local disk when you are connected to a reliable source of power- power loss when defragmentation process is running might cause even greater problems to your computer leave along the speed issue!

5. Reinstall the Computer`s Operating System
Have any of the above methods worked for you so far? No? Don’t worry… There is still one more thing that you can do to increase the loading speed of your files and folders. This involves reinstalling your computer`s operating system and programs! To do this, first back up all your data and other user settings, fully clean your hard disk and then re-install the OS using your original disks. Finally, restore your user settings and install your favorite programs.

Final Thoughts
That’s the list of powerful tricks that you can use to increase the speed of your computer. What`s more, these tricks are very easy to handle and you can do them on your own at the comfort of your sofa.