Good Computer Habits for Protecting Your Financial Data

When it comes to using a computer the biggest fear is someone getting into your computer and doing what they will with your files, cameras, microphones and saved login credentials.

Here are some good steps to help stop them from getting in:

  1. While working, close application windows  and browser tabs you are not using.

  2. Digitally save sensitive paper statements and documents and then shred them immediately.

  3. When leaving your desk, close all applications and logout of your computer.

  4. Apply computer operating system and antivirus software updates often.

  5. Restart and shut down your computer every so often, even when not required to do so.

  6. Clear browsing data and set your site settings to clear cookies and site data when you exit.

    • Clearer beware – doing this will “unremember” all the stored username and passwords so you will have to reenter them all. This is a good thing actually!CHECK OUT this video cast to see how to do this in Google Chrome.
  7. Check the Apps that automatically startup when you login and identify unknown ones. If not sure you can turn any off, then seek professional help.

  8. Don’t click any links in emails where you don’t recognize the sender.

  9. Make sure you are using antivirus, anti malware, anti spyware and keep it up to date.

  10. Turn on two step verification for everything you can.

  11. When upgrading to a new computer, make sure to take the hard drive(s) out of the old one first and destroy it.

  12. Lastly, and one of your strongest weapons – Change passwords twice a year for all logins using at least three different ones at all time. Some helpful ideas to consider:

      • Put a recurring reminder in your digital calendar to remind you to do this – it is critical!
      • Use one excel file stored in one location to track all of your login credentials. Have a strong password to get into this file.
      • Do not document, say, write, text or email passwords anywhere, but for in the one excel file.
      • Here’s an EXAMPLE of a password protocol system you can use to help keep track and make sense of it all:
        • For each one of your three passwords, first come up with a strong, logical to you only, sequence of lower and upper case Letters, Numbers and symbols. i.e. “Winner2019Soccer+”
        • Every six months or so, update each password by changing at least 2 password positions. i.e. “Winner2020Soccer!
        • Change up this password initial sequence every two years if not sooner.

(c) 2020 Simoncpa, PC

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