Securing Your Computer

April 30, 2012

One of the things that most people seem to neglect besides backing up is computer security. Real security can be difficult to achieve, but there are some basic things you can do to make it better. If you are using a Mac computer like I do you can enable the full disk encryption known as FileVault 2. It takes a while to encrypt the drive but then it will be protected if someone steals your laptop. If you have a mobile device like an iPhone or iPad you should enable encryption and passwords on those as well. Instead of a basic passcode you should choose one that is eight numbers or some kind of phrase. The most important thing is to make sure you remember it.

Then for all your website logins you should use a password manager. I recommend and use 1Password. Beyond that both eBay/PayPal and Google offer additional layers of protection. PayPal offers a security key token that generates a random number that you have to enter when you login to your eBay and PayPal accounts. Google offers two-factor authentication using text messaging on your cell phone.

Finally you should keep your computer updated. Mac OS X and Windows both offer automatic updates; you should run them weekly. You should also use a modern browser like Google Chrome. By spending an hour to take these basic steps you can make sure that your data is secure and if your laptop or mobile device are stolen that your identity won’t be stolen as well.

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This work by Matt Zagaja is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.