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Protect your personal computer (PC) and portable devices

PC

  • Use a firewall: Firewalls protect your network some viruses and hackers
  • Install anti-virus software: Anti-virus software prevents virus infections from spreading on your computer
  • Get the latest security updates: Keep your applications and operating system fit,healthy, and up-to-date
  • Stop spyware: Don’t let strangers get inside your computer by avoiding suspicious emails and attachments 
  • Make regular backups: Protect your data from disaster

Laptops

  • Switch off wireless connections when not in use or required
  • Connect your laptop to a trusted network regularly to update your security mechanisms.
  • Backup the information stored in your laptop
  • Don’t leave your laptop unattended

USB drives

  • Use an encrypted USB drive
  • Put the USB flash drive in read-only mode using the physical switch to avoid virus transmission: some USB flash drives include a physical switch to put the drive in a read-only mode to avoid the host computer from writing or modifying the data on the drive
  • Scan USB flash drive after copying files from an untrusted and/or unauthorised machine to avoid virus transmission
  • Before plugging your USB drive into someone else’s computer, delete all files which are not relevant for the purpose of that action
  • Backup information in your USB to recover data in case of a disaster
  • Attach USB drives to key chains/lanyards to avoid loss of media: the reduced size of USB flash drives makes these devices easier to lose or be stolen. Furthermore, the higher storage capacity increases the potential amount of data at risk for unauthorised access. USB flash drives are usually put in bags, backpacks, laptop cases, jackets, trouser pockets or are left on unattended workstations. The number of incidents has increased recently as USB drives get lost, misplaced, borrowed without permission or stolen

Mobile phones and handheld computers

Handheld computers like Windows Mobile, Palm, iPhone, Android and Blackberry devices, come with Internet links and the capability to store vast amounts of information. Their very portability means they need to be treated with extra care

  • Switch off wireless connections (i.e., Bluetooth and WLAN) when not in use. Bluetooth technology enables electronic devices to communicate with each other by using a short-range radio link
  • Don’t leave your mobile phone and handheld computer unattended. Otherwise, it could lead to data loss
  • Use the password function to prevent remote hacks into your smartphone