Reading Material

Stuff I read and write about.

2 Simple Things You Can Do To Help Safeguard Your Computer

It seems like everyday there is news about some repository of our personal information being broken into and our information stolen by thieves.  Equifax was just the latest  "victim" but there will be more.  But the people I work with everyday (I work for a big Internet Service Provider or ISP), don't have problems with the fallout from Equifax.  Most of the time it's problems that they cause themselves.

2 ways people electronically shoot themselves in the foot:

  1. They open every email that shows up in their inbox.  I see this a lot in older Americans.  Somehow, they figure that email is like receiving a letter (snail mail) from one of their kids.  THEY MUST OPEN IT NOW!!!  No you don't.  As a matter of fact, your default should be to delete an email unless your absolutely positive that it is legit.  Criminals (that's who these people actually are) can craft an email to make it look like it's from one of your bestest buddies, a family member or the Mayor.  Your default thought should be that it's a scam.  If it's legit, it will have a personal message that focuses on you. "Joe, you really need to read this!" isn't one.  "Joe, I'm enclosing some pictures from our get together at the lake last weekend.  Notice the ones where Jamal and Ellie tip over the canoe. Hilarious!"  is one.  It has personal knowledge about something (canoe tipover - you had to be there to know about this).  An empty email with an attachment that says "picnic pics" should throw up a huge red flag.  Delete it.  If it's legit, the real sender (a friend or family member) will ask you about it.  Don't be afraid to say "I delete all empty emails with attachments.  Next time, write a quick note to go along with it."

  2. They don't back up their hard drive/operating system. - Microsoft (most users use this Operating System (OS) ) has a nasty habit of crashing some part of your computer from time to time.  If this happens, you may have to delete everything and do what is known as a clean install.  To back up your computer, follow the directions here.  To back up your Mac, just go here.

Bruce Hubbell