Best Computer Security Practices Skip Navigation

Best Practices

There are many steps you can take to protect your data and yourself on the Internet. No one method alone is foolproof but, when combining these methods in a layered security approach, the chances of falling victim to malware, lost data, or identity theft are significantly lowered.

Using Strong Passwords

The use of strong passwords is imperative to security. But with all the crazy rules and complexity involved, how do we make a strong password we can remember and don't have to write down? By substituting letters for numbers or symbols, we learn the two rules to creating strong passwords are simply to be creative and have fun! MORE PASSWORD INFORMATION

Recognizing Spam and Phishing E-mails

While spam ruins the scenery of your inbox like billboards on a desert highway, its evil cousin known as phishing can potentially ruin your life! Phishing e-mails are designed to steal your passwords or other personal information and can even be used to spread viruses and install malware on your computer. The number one rule to avoiding scams is to never open a link from inside your e-mail — ever! Some of these criminals who send these messages are really good and their scams are tough to spot! Here are two sites with more information which can help you spot a phishing scam.

Updating Your Computer

The surest way to make a computer safe from hackers is to never build one in the first place. Since we can't yet turn back time, the next best thing is to be sure whatever computer you are using is up to date with the latest security patches. The longer software is available to you, the longer it is available to hackers and, while you're becoming an expert in WoW, Office, Facebook, Windows, Firefox, Mac OS X, Adobe Flash, Java, Linux, or SPSS, they're becoming experts in how to crack the security of these systems. Most applications should have a method of setting updates for themselves. Here are some links to updating some popular applications and operating systems.