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Castle Point Court
Glen Allen, VA 23060


Garth Callaghan

Napkin Notes Dad





The Napkin Notes Blog

Five Steps to Safer Computing

WGarth Callaghan

1) Passwords, Passwords, Passwords!  Do you use the same password for every account?  Does your computer even have a login password?  Your first line of defense is a strong password.  A strong password contains a combination of at least letters and numbers.  A strong password generally can’t be tied to anything recognizable to you such as your grandchild’s name or birthday.  Avoid common passwords such as: password; 123456; abc123; and qwerty. 

2) Backup:  Are you backing up your data?  In our last blog post we talked about the importance of digital backups.  Here’s an excerpt:

A good backup plan is inexpensive.  It's safe, secure, and reliable.  It works automatically, so that you don't have to manually intervene.  A good backup doesn't care how much data you store in it, because it knows that tomorrow you'll have more.  I use Mozy.  It costs about $55/year.  It's encrypted.  It backs up my files at least twice a day.  It's unlimited for the home user.    It helps me avoid being a "Bad Dad."  

Why don't you try it today?  Click Here to start the service. 

3) Anti-Virus & Anti-Malware: We are joining these two together since they are so closely related. 

Anti-Virus – You need to run basic Anti-Virus protection. There are no reasons to forgo this protection because there are many great free services out there.  We’re currently recommending Microsoft Security Essentials for small business and home uses.  CLICK HERE to get this software. 

Anti-Spyware – Viruses aren’t the only bad things looking to get into your PC.  Spyware is the fastest growing threat to your PC. Try Malwarebytes Anti-Malware or SpySweeper. 

4) Update: Turn on Windows Updates to keep your PC up-to-date with the latest patches. Windows updates will download the latest security updates to protect against malware and other potentially unwanted software; Updates that improve reliability and performance; Upgrades to Windows features and Drivers from Microsoft partners.  If you want more control over this process, turn on “Check for updates but let me choose whether to download or install them.” You should also update other software such as Adobe.   

5) Encryption: This is a more advanced solution, but in today's world I highly recommend it. Do you have sensitive employee or client information on your computer? Do you have scanned copies of life insurance or stock accounts?  If so, you must encrypt it. You don't want to be responsible for letting that data escape into untrusting hands.  TrueCrypt is a great solution as it balances tough security and an easy-to-use interface.  It’s free and easy to install on any PC, Mac, or Linux machine.  

If you have any questions about the above items, please feel free to contact us.