Protect Your Devices at Home and on the Road

Because more information is flying across the Internet, the instances of phishing and hacking have only increased. It’s not unusual for anyone to field hundreds of attacks daily. While having antivirus software is a must, there are more than a few ways to protect your devices at home and on-the-go.

 

Unplug Your Internet

Being an Internet-driven world can mean a perceived need to be on the Internet all the time. Those who have a broadband connection are on the Internet the minute the computer is turned on, even when it’s not used. The problem with being on the Internet all the time is that you are more vulnerable. The Internet is a two way street where information is sent and received. The longer you are on it the more chances hackers and viruses have to intrude and compromise your machine. Disconnect your machine whenever it’s not in use.

 

Multi-factor Authentication

Because hacking and phishing have become more sophisticated, many sites, especially financial sites have employed multi-factor authentication. This means that in addition to a password, there is on other piece of information that’s need. Two-factor authentication involves a personal question that needs to be answered after entering a password. Common questions include names of favorite pets and cities where you’ve lived. Three-factor authentication can add a special token, such as a custom picture, in addition to the two other pieces of information. Some sites force users to create these from the beginning while others employ it as an option; few sites even allow users to create their own authentication questions. Whatever the options, use them and make sure your answers are creative and unique to you.

 

Configure Your Firewall

A firewall is a way of filtering incoming and outgoing packets of information and comes in two forms: software and hardware. Many antivirus programs have software firewalls built in. They are set up automatically and users seldom need to configure the features because not everyone can or should. Hardware firewalls are special devices that do the same thing that software firewalls do but they don’t bog down your computer as much. Home network systems do have hardware firewalls built in but may need to be configured for added protection by those who know how. Be careful, though, because too much firewall protection can result in having trouble getting to some of your regular sites.

 

Have an Eye Inside

If your portable device is lost or stolen, it may seem irretrievable unless you have an eye on the inside. Antitheft applications such as Prey or Cerberus can help you find your device and even control your device remotely. You can receive notifications if someone changes the SIM card in the device, erase personal information from the device or even prevent anyone else from using it.

In addition to making sure that your antivirus is regularly updated, make sure your information is backed up regularly. Some people choose to use an external drive to make a copy of important files. Others use online storage from Amazon or Carbonite to save valuable files on a cloud server. There are plenty of ways to add that extra layer of protection to your electronic devices.

This post was published by on June 6, 2013

About the Author: Thilak Rao works as a Social Media Expert. He is one of the first professional bloggers from India, and he loves to write, travel and click photos. Follow him on Twitter @thilak