Please share – 3 steps to make your computing in 2012 safer

Keep it safe in 2012!

Oh, the joy of New Year’s Resolutions. How many do you make? How many last more than a few days?

So, here are 3 resolutions you can make and easily keep, that could save you money and heartache over the years to come…

1) Passwords

We are constantly reminded (lectured) on having unique and secure passwords for everything online. But I know people struggle to have a different password for everything.

So, if I can at least encourage you to keep two passwords different from all the others, they are…

Your email password

If you use the same password for everything, whenever you register at any website you are giving away the access details to your entire online life. Even if you register at a safe website, if it gets hacked then your details are out in the open.

Keep your email password different to everything else, then it’s much harder for people to guess. Plus, if you need to reset passwords anywhere else, you need to know your email is secure to receive the updates.

Your online banking password

This one’s pretty obvious, after all, it’s where your money is kept!

2) Malware Protection

Whatever antivirus software you’ve got, it probably isn’t enough. To be fair, we hardly ever see PCs with a virus infection nowadays. Now it’s all about Trojans – programs designed to fool you into thinking they are something useful when they aren’t. They fool you so you give them permission to install, which is how they get past your normal security software.

Which is why all the PCs in the Dear Geek household are running Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Pro.

Apart from removing infections, which we rely on the free version for so many of our callouts, the full version provides constant protection, including blocking known ‘dodgy’ websites. The license fee is a one-off, not annual, payment of less than £20. Off you go, go and buy it now.

3) Backup

I go on about backup so often I think I’m turning into a parrot. But it is always worth repeating. Let’s give a real life example…

About a week before Christmas I was called out to a dropped laptop. The hard drive couldn’t be accessed. 9 times out of 10 I can hook the drive up to my kit and recover most or all of the data, but not this time.

So, with much gnashing of teeth, the drive was sent off to the recovery lab. They can recover the data 99 times out of 100, but charge £400+ to do so.

This was that one time out of 100 – the drive was beyond recovery. At least the customer had an external drive for their backups. It was safely tucked away in another room, in its original box. It’s original, unopened box. So, this client was to spend Christmas trying to recreate her entire business on her laptop.

Which is why we use, and recommend, Livedrive Online Backup from fmBackup – especially when it only costs £2 per month.

So, there you go…

3 simple steps to make your 2012 a much happier New Year. One free, two ridiculously cheap, all very easy.

Best wishes for a very prosperous New Year from your friends at Dear Geek, HDG and fairly marvellous.

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Jonathan Gwyer

Jonathan Gwyer first delved into geekery with a ZX81 in 1981 and has been working in IT since 1990.

A Microsoft Certified Professional with many years of large corporate experience and training, he now focuses on helping small businesses make the most of their IT.
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Please share – 3 steps to make your computing in 2012 safer

by Jonathan Gwyer time to read: 2 min
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