Stay Safe – and Secure!

Computer Security

The Internet is full of images – half of them are of cats…

Computer Security is important to all of us. Having your computer system infected is inconvenient as a minimum and, worse, can lead to data loss and/or confidential information being stolen.

As ever, the best security is to have a complete backup of all your data. Photographs, documents – everything – needs to be copied and exist in at least two places. Anything you have that exists only on one system is data on the edge of extinction. simple as that.

Fortunately there are lots of ‘online’ backup services – many of them free – that are both reliable and easy to use. There’s really no excuse for not having your data backed up. So if you do get hacked, you’ll be able to recover from any potential data loss.

That said, its still a major hassle to have your security beached. Changing all your passwords and restoring data takes time. Lots of it. Time any of us can ill-afford.

So its worth investing effort in a little housekeeping and staying vigilant.

For most people running windows, turning on the firewall, automatic updates and installing Security Essentials is a great start. But what about all the other software on your system? How can you keep it up to date easily?

The good news is that most software keeps itself updated. The bad news is that this is not always automatic and can be a bit of a pain to do – so most people avoid doing it. Big mistake. The hackers out there know this and deliberately target software that lots of people have, but that may be out of date. Chief amongst these – and the ones I want to highlight here – are JAVA and Adobe Flash & Reader. Just about everyone has them. But few people keep them updated. And I understand why. We hardly ever seem to actually use them and updating them all the time is a right royal pain.

The truth is that, these days, most people don’t actually need either of these pieces of software. And, like me, they have probably spent more time updating them than they have ever spent actually using them.

So I’d like to recommend that you actually think about getting rid of them.

Windows Secrets

Windows Secrets

If you’d like more detail on why, then read these:

Remove Java from your browsers

Flash Player Flaws

Adobe Reader sandbox protection

And if you’d like to know how, read these:

Remove Java from your browsers

Uninstall Flash Player

Remove Adobe Reader

Their may be times when you ‘miss out’ by not having Java. But they will be few and far between. Most people are more likely to ‘need’ to read PDF documents – but if you are one of these, then I recommend this. And Apple seem to have done reasonably well considering non of their iPhone or iPads run Flash!

Stay safe

And If you’d like to discuss any of this, them I’d be pleased to see you in the ReadingRoom at one of the regular sessions 2:30pm – 3:30pm most Fridays.

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