Computer and network security may not be the first thing you think about when you wake up, but it is crucial to protect your data from unwanted users and hackers. There are many ways in which hackers can access your sensitive information through both your computer and network.

Having a basic understanding of the importance of computer and network security is valuable. Here at Auburn IT, we want to help ensure your information is protected, so here is the rundown on both computer and network security.

Computer Security

Computer security is the protection of computer systems from unauthorized information use. It includes any information or data that is stored on your computer, especially confidential information like financial, client or health information.

Not only is computer security important for your information to be protected, it is important to help minimize your chances of plaguing your computer’s health with viruses that can slow it down greatly.

Common Computer Security Threats

Your computer is susceptible to many security threats that can hurt your computer, steal your information or spy on your personal exchanges. Here are some of the most common threats to keep in mind if you feel weary about running a program or clicking a link.

  • Viruses: Viruses are hackers’ bread and butter. Unsuspecting users download a program that is actually a virus and infects their computer making it slower, and, in some cases, shut down completely. More information on viruses and how you can protect yourself from them can be found here.

  • Phishing: Phishing is a tactic used to steal information or infect your computer with viruses. It is easy to fall for phishing activity because hackers try to disguise themselves as legitimate entities that need action from you by clicking a link or responding to a message. Hackers have become more creative with phishing activity and will even send you text messages to try and elicit information from you.

  • Installing Freeware: When installing free desktop applications, make sure you are not using fraudulent freeware because when installing deceitful freeware, you are more susceptible for accidentally installing spyware or unwanted toolbars, according to Onsharp.

  • Keylogger: Keyloggers are a monitoring software that has the ability to track the information you type on a keyboard and use it to hack information. This is especially common for stealing username and password logins.

Network Security

Network security is the process of protecting your computer’s network from unwanted use from cyber threats. Networks and their capabilities have grown substantially over the last few years, which is why individuals have to also take network security into account as well as computer security.

Computers rely on networks to utilize the internet and other capabilities, so having a secure network is vital in protecting it from hackers utilizing your devices and locations. For companies, it is even more pertinent to secure your network because an unsecure network can allow hackers to steal your company’s and customers’ information, which can reflect poorly on your company.

Common Types of Network Security

Networks are one of the easiest ways for hackers to steal information. Network security is not only important for protecting your data from outside networks, it helps increase efficiency when sharing information with others and makes you less vulnerable to attacks. These different network securities can help your information stay private.

  • Antivirus and Antimalware Protection: Antivirus and antimalware software frequently scans your network for unauthorized programs like viruses and worms.

  • Firewalls: Firewalls protect your internal network from unwanted external network use.

  • Virtual Private Networks: VPNs connect you to certain networks from a different endpoint. This is especially important when working from home or in a public place.

Computer and Network Security Tips

Thankfully, there are many ways in which you can help protect your computer and network from unauthorized use. Here are some of the easiest ways to decrease your chances of information breaches:

  • Your computer and network’s security services need to be updated with the latest version at all times.
  • Do not click on suspicious links or attachments through email or text messages.
  • Make sure your passwords are strong and challenging to guess. Changing your passwords every so often is helpful as well.
  • To verify computer and network use two-step authentication processes that, for example, will send a second text to your mobile device confirming that it is you.
  • Physically protect your computer as well by storing it in a safe and secure space. Never leave your computer open and unattended.

Both your computer and network security are important in both personal and business matters. At Auburn IT, we want the integrity of your information to be protected and confidential from unauthorized use. Contact us today to get started on properly securing your information.

Learn more about working with Auburn IT

We're here to help. Let's talk about your IT needs.