Gary Helm

When Anti-virus is Not Enough

Best Technical Security Practices

We think the security threats to our computers and other technical items are from outside, from the internet, but the greatest and most overlooked threat is from inside.
We install firewalls, antivirus and internet security software to make our systems secure, but all it takes is clicking on a link to bypass all that security.

  • Be suspicious of emails and downloads. If you think it is fake don't open it. If it looks suspicious don't open it. If it has attachments that are unexpected don't open it.
  • Install antivirus, firewall and internet security software, keep it up-to-date.
  • Yes, you've heard this one before: use secure passwords. Passwords that contain words, names or secquential numbers or letters are not secure. A good rule of thumb is to use at least eight characters including upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.
  • Change passwords every six months to a years, use diffent passwords for different accounts, and do not reuse passwords. Don't forget to set and change passwords on your internet routers.
  • Keep your operating system and software updated, and don't forget to update the firmware on routers.
  • Use secure WiFi locations and on public WiFi locations use VPN and encryption to help secure your connections
  • Backup your data. Some recommend constant syncronizing of files on a computer with a backup system, others recommend a more staggered approach. There are benefits and drawbacks to each.
  • Stay regularly informed about security risks. News sources regularly mention major security issues, and there are websites with lists of current security issues.
  • Dispose of old technology properly after wiping data from appliances.
  • Have a plan for "what if" disasters occur. What if the computer breaks? What if there is a fire or natural disaster? What if....?