It’s easy to make mistakes with computers. They’re intricate and highly complex machines, after all. However, just because mistakes are common doesn’t mean you should repeat them. This is particularly important when it comes to computer security. Many people make several common mistakes with their computers that put their safety and others’ at risk. Here are some of the most common simple computer security mistakes most people make but shouldn’t.
- Failing to Verify
Whenever you install a new software, it’s important to verify that it’s working properly and that the company is legitimate. Even in well-known corporations, mistakes have been known to happen. This only takes a few minutes, but it gives you peace of mind and allows you to catch obvious mistakes.
- Skipping Updates
A lot of people download software and think that’s all you need to do. However, software companies always send out updates with patches and upgrades that remove vulnerabilities from the system. Whenever these updates pop up, install them as soon as possible. They update the security of your computer and make sure your software functions perfectly.
- Keeping Outdated Applications
Along with skipping updates, many computer users also keep old versions of a program on their computer, even after downloading the new one. The new one is likely updated with better security features for a reason, and keeping the old software could provide an opening for malicious code to exploit. Delete the old ones to avoid these security problems.
- Downloading Programs Without Knowing the Origin
Do you always know where a file comes from before downloading it? Always verify the source. If it’s not familiar to you, it’s best not to trust it. Oftentimes, file downloads come with viruses.
- Trusting Shortlinks
Because of social media, it’s become very popular to use shortened URL services like bit.ly, TinyURL, and more. These are useful for sharing content without taking up too much space in a post, but they can be dangerous. Some scammers use them to trick you into clicking something you’ll regret. If there’s no preview for a link posted on social media, think twice before clicking it, as it could lead to accidentally downloading a virus.
- Sticking to the Same Password
It’s surprising how many people use the same password for everything, from their email to their bank account. The more a password is used, however, the easier it becomes for hackers to guess it. To escape being hacked, change your password regularly, at least once every few months, and use a variety of passwords for your accounts rather than just one.
- Passing Over Antivirus Software
Everyone should use antivirus software, even if you think you know enough about computers to avoid it. This software catches threats that you can’t see. Most of the time, you can find free software downloads, and you’ll be far better off with it than without it.