Protecting Your Data at Home

There has been a lot of talks, lately, about ZOOM.  A tool that all of us are using to communicate with our families and colleagues.  Unfortunately, that press is not always positive.  This has us thinking about the safety and security of our online presence.

Our kids are watching videos, going to school via one or another screen sharing application and we are working, collaborating, and meeting with another.  We are using our on-line devices much more than we did earlier this year but, we haven’t given any thought to the differences between our workspace and our home network.

At work, we often have “Those people in IT” who are making sure our computers are up to date, our applications and software are patched and we have some form of defense layer installed to protect the company’s data and computers.  The question is, who is that IT person at home?  Do you, like many of us, simply go on-line relying on your ISP?  Well, don’t.

Here’s a three-item checklist you should go over to help bring a semblance of protection to your home network.

Is your computer’s operating system up to date?

Most of us use Windows as our operating system.  The second Tuesday of every month Microsoft releases updates to the operating system that you should install.  There is a group of people dedicated to breaking Windows in any way they can.  Thankfully, they are doing so to help Microsoft fix things that might have been overlooked.  Check your update status and make sure you install the latest release.

Is your computer’s virus scanner up to date?

Virus scanners use so-called signatures to identify possible attacks on your computer.  Those signatures are known to the security companies and the hacker.  A smart hacker will simply change the code enough to not be recognized and the release of the virus again.  If your signature file has not been updated in the last 48 hours, chances are you are vulnerable to the malicious code.

When was the last time you changed your password?

Most companies have policies around password changes.  Only a handful of homes do.  You should change your password at least once every 3 months.  I can hear the moaning about “too many passwords to remember” and I can see the little book, sold on Amazon or at the local bookstore, where you can write down your passwords.  You don’t want to know what could happen if that book or list was picked up by the wrong person.

There are easy fixes to all these issues.  You can set your operating system to auto-update, you can check your virus scanner to make sure it is updating, and you can get a password manager to keep your passwords safely.  You can also contact us @ Echo Cloud Solutions to get suggestions on whole-home solutions to protect you and your family’s online presence.  We have solutions. We have Answers.