• Paul Smith

7 Essential Tips For Basic Computer Security

If you’re into topics like online security, cybercrime, and futurism, this episode of the Tim Ferriss Show podcast is a must-listen. Even if you’re not interested in this stuff, there were some key takeaways that everyone needs to pay attention to.

Tim’s guest on the show was Marc Goodman, a powerful thought leader in the field of cybercrime. Marc’s worked for the FBI, spoken at TED, written about DNA hacking, and in February will be releasing a book called Future Crimes. Check out his site to learn more about him.

At the end of the podcast, Marc listed the top security tips he gives to people that, when taken together, protect most people against roughly 85% of the types of security threats out there.

Here’s a quick summary of these important tips, which constitute both low-hanging-fruit and essential hygiene when it comes to being secure online:

  1. Don’t click on links or open attachments you receive via email, unless you are absolutely certain you know and trust the sender.

  2. Always apply available software updates to your operating system and apps.

  3. Do not use the same password everywhere- doing so leaves all of your accounts vulnerable if just one of them becomes compromised.

  4. Use a trusted password manager app to help keep track of all of your passwords. Some good ones are 1Password, LastPass, and KeePass (which is open source).

  5. Enable 2 factor authentication on your online services.

  6. Use a VPN when you’re on a public network.

  7. Do not use a user account with administrative privileges as your day-to-day computer account. Use a normal, lower-privileged account instead.

These are the same tips that we pass along to all of our IT clients, and if you stick to them, your chances of becoming the next Sony or Jennifer Lawrence will be dramatically reduced.

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