Three Key Steps to Secure PC Software

The best way to safeguard your computers, mobile devices and data from hackers is using secure pc software. Hackers (also known as cybercriminals) are able to hack into your device or computer for a variety of reasons, including taking, altering, and deleting data you consider valuable. Hackers have malicious motives unlike other thieves who utilize stolen items for legitimate purposes. They are most concerned with unauthorized access to your personal data, often before you know something has gone wrong.

The three main steps to protect your PC software are passwords, a firewall and protection against viruses. If you follow these best practices, your computer will be less likely to be hacked by malware, hackers, or ransomware (software that locks your data and requires payment to unlock it).

Change the name of your administrator account. Select a strong password that includes lower and uppercase letters, numbers and computer symbols. Avoid using a password like 1234 because hackers can employ automated software to crack passwords that are easy to guess in mere minutes.

Update your operating system and other software. Most software updates contain security fixes that protect against hacking. Install all patches and enable automatic updates as they become they are available to reduce the amount of time when you’re vulnerable to intruders.

If you have an laptop or any other portable device, ensure that the drive is secure when it’s not being used. This is especially important for UF students. Windows allows you to enable encryption by going to Settings > Update and Security > Device encryption. This will protect your entire internal drive and a majority of external drives, such as SD cards.