Three Key Steps to Secure PC Software

Secure PC software is the most important factor in safeguarding your device, computer and your data from hackers. Hackers, also referred to as cybercriminals, hack your computer for a variety reasons. They may steal or alter, or even delete information that you value. In contrast to other thieves, who usually have legitimate reasons for the stolen items they have malicious motives. They are more concerned with unauthorized access to your sensitive information, often before you even realize something is wrong.

Passwords, a virus protection program and firewalls are the three main steps to secure your computer software. If you follow these basic best practices, your computer will be much less susceptible to being compromised by hackers, malware or ransomware (software which encrypts your data and demands payment to unlock it).

Change the name of your administrator account. Be sure to choose an extremely secure password that includes lower- and uppercase letters, numbers and computer symbols. Avoid using a short password like 1234 as hackers can use automated tools to break passwords that are easy to guess in just a few minutes.

Maintain your operating system (OS) and other software up to date. Most software updates contain security patches that help guard against hacking. Install all patches and enable automatic updates if available, to minimize the amount of time you’re vulnerable to hackers.

If you have an laptop or any other portable device, make sure the drive is encrypted when it’s not in use. This is particularly crucial for UF students. You can enable encryption in Windows by opening Settings > Update & Security > Device encryption. This will encrypt the entire internal drive, as well as many external drives, including SD cards.