Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Restart Your Router And Other Tech Tips

If you haven't been watching the news yesterday or today you may have missed the announcement by the FBI that all Americans should restart their internet routers due to a possible malware attack.  It's easy enough to do, simply turn it off or unplug it, count to 30, then plug it in/turn in back on. 

Here are several other things you should do with your tech on a regular basis:

  • Change the password for your router occassionally (note, the password shouldn't be password...or whatever the default password is).
  • If your cell phone/tablet/computer is password protected (it should be) be sure to change the password occasionally.
  • Always download and install system/software updates and patches as soon as they are released.
  • Back up your files regularly (to a thumb drive/external hard drive).  Make two copies and keep one accessible to you and store one off-site.
  • Don't forget to regularly change the passwords to your other online accounts as well (email, banking, online services, etc).
  • Any default password that comes with your new tech (hardware or software) should immediately be changed as soon as you set it up.  If you don't know how to do this, simply Google the name and model of your tech item and pull up the users manual for instructions).
  • Keep a password-protected document with a list of all of your user names/passwords (because who can possibly remember all of these?).
  • A quick note on passwords--make them complicated and unique (use lower case letters, upper case letters, numbers, as well as symbols in each password).
  • Be wary of what information you send over open networks (ie: don't type in your credit card number over an open network, wait until you get home to purchase the item instead).
  • If you often use your computer while on the go, consider signing up for a VPN (virtual private network).
  • Don't leave your computer/cell phone/tablet where others can access it.  Always bring these items with you or leave them in a locked home/office in order to physically secure them.
  • Always wipe your data from any tech item that you are selling.  Google "how to completely wipe data from (name of device)" to get instructions to do this.  Cell phones are pretty simple as you just need to do a factory reset; computers require over write software or removal and replacement of the hard drive.
  • Beware of online/phishing scams.  Never download files you weren't expecting, don't fall for bogus emails, don't send private info via email (this goes double for pictures/videos you don't want blasted all over the internet).
  • Finally, check out this huge list of even more tech security tips.

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