The key to protecting your devices, computers and information from hackers is secure PC software. Hackers (also called cybercriminals) break into your device or computer for various reasons, which include stealing, altering and deleting information you value. Hackers are malicious unlike other thieves who may make use of stolen items for legitimate purposes. They are most concerned with the unauthorized access to sensitive information. This can happen before you realize that something isn’t right.
The three main steps to ensure the security of your computer software are passwords, a firewall and virus protection. If you adhere to these best practices, it’s less likely that your computer will be hacked by malware or hackers (software that locks data and requires payment to unlock its unlocking).
Change the name of the administrator account. Choose a strong password containing lower- and uppercase letters, numbers and computer symbols. Avoid using a password that is short such as 1234 because hackers are able to use automated tools to break passwords that are easy to guess in a matter of minutes.
Update your operating system and other programs. Most software updates contain security fixes to protect against hackers. Install all patches and set up automatic updates if available, to minimize the amount of time you are exposed to hackers.
If you own a laptop, or any other portable device that index is not being used, make sure the drive is secured. This is particularly crucial for UF students. Windows allows you to enable encryption by going to Settings > Update and Security > Device encryption. This will secure your entire internal drive, as well as the majority of external drives, including SD cards.