Computer-SecurityThere are definitely risks out there when it comes to cyber security and your own personal computer.  It’s very important that you stay up to date on all the various things that pose a risk to your information.  This is especially true when you use your computer for a lot of your daily tasks such as shopping, banking, and communicating.  The more information you send over the internet, the more at risk you are.  And considering that most people are sending a lot of information over the internet, most people are at some level of risk.

So I can tell you what I tell to all my friends: it’s a very good idea to employ a few things on your computer in the interest of safeguarding it against hackers and data thieves.

First off, you have to ensure that your computer and your software are all as up to date as possible.  This especially means your operating system, your internet browser, and Adobe Flash.  These are the three most important things to ensure that you have up to date.  If you’re a very forgetful person, then it would be in your best interest to turn on the automatic update feature on these programs.  Most people that put off these updates don’t realize that the updates are actually patches for security holes in the software.  Hackers and criminals will exploit holes in these software programs in order to gain access to your computer or files.

Another thing that you should do is to ensure that you have a good antivirus software program running.  These programs, such as Norton 360, provide a real-time defense against viruses, worms, trojans, and other infections that can cripple your computer.  I recommend Norton 360 but there are a couple other programs out there that are quite good, such as software from ESET and McAfee.

One other idea that kind of works hand in hand with your antivirus software is an antimalware software program.  These programs are good at identifying and stopping malware software – programs that masquerade as “legitimate” software and often piggyback with legitimate software, but are instead malicious software tools designed to either take over your computer in certain ways or spy on your communications.  Another risk is ransomware such as Cryptolocker that will unfortunately lock up all your files in return for a monetary payment.  This is something that you completely want to avoid, but unfortunately you can’t always do so unless you have proper lines of defense.  One very safe and effective program that you can use is Spyhunter 4.  This software is very good at detecting and removing spyware.  If you’re curious about how it works, you can read about it here in an article by We Hate Malware, a very good security blog.

If you really want to to protect your data you’ll have to employ some of the means that we have talked about in this article.  In addition you can stay up to date on the latest in security related threats by bookmarking a few security blogs and staying up to date on the latest in terms of security news.

 

MacPCThis is a hot topic among my friends.  Should they purchase an expensive Mac or should they just get a PC?  People seem to think that Macs are somehow “better” but this is simply clever marketing.  Both machines are just computers, and Macs, although sometimes with some nice features such as the HD resolution screen, are just another computer.

The thing about Macs vs PCs is that people have somehow been conditioned to think that they need a Mac becaues PCs are somehow inferior.  I work on computers and do video editing for a living, and most people seem to think that I use Mac computers.  However, they are always unanimously surprised when I inform them that no, I use PCs.  PCs do the same thing at a cheaper price.

I always tell people that unless you’re some sort of graphic artist or something, you don’t really need a high end Macbook.  It’s like buying a Porsche in order to go to the grocery store once a week.  You can save some money if you get a PC that is suitable for your needs.

Macs are good for some things, and they are certainly good computers.  However they are quite overpriced, and Apple is increasingly locking people into their “environment.”  This means less compatibility with objects outside the environment.

Personally I have just purchased a Surface Pro 4, and I couldn’t be happier.  This computer is a lot of fun, and the performance is great.  Plus, it’s very light and portable.  Traveling with my computer and working has never been easier.  I could have gotten a Macbook Air, however I wouldn’t have had the compatibility and some software just wouldn’t work on a Mac.

I will admit, however, that I do use an iPhone.  I find that iPhones are the most user friendly and solid phones on the market today.  They are still compatible with PCs, however.  My friend today was lamenting that she purchased a new Macbook for $1500.  I told her she could get a PC that was just as good for much less money.  She wanted to know if the iPhone would interface with the PC, and I told her that yes it would.

So it’s clear that some people are falling for the Mac marketing hype.  People should be aware of their choices.  PCs are not just for nerds.