Desktop Security Best Practices: The top 10 tips to securing your desktop computer

The top 10 tips to securing your desktop computer

In this high-tech era, where advanced technology and computer devices are more available, affordable, and easy to use, there are untold ways that your computer systems can fail, get hacked, corrupted or damaged, be infected with viruses, or otherwise compromised. This makes desktop security really important.

To minimize the impact of any of these malicious events upon your system, we’ve outlined below what we consider to be the top ten ways to stay on top of your computer security:

  1. Make sure your system is up-to-date:
    • Keep your computer’s operating system up to date with updates and patches
    • Install anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and keep them up to date too
    • Enable your operating system’s firewall
    • Use strong passwords
    • Ensure your computer is physically secure
    • Remove any unnecessary software or services
    • Use secure operating system configurations, such as browser settings & junk mail configurations)
    • If you are using an older version of Windows (or other operating system) upgrade to the latest version.
    • IMPORTANT! Remember that Windows 7 is no longer support by Microsoft; see this post if you’re still running the old OS.
  2. Keep your password to yourself:
    • Do not share your password with anyone else, particularly by email or other messaging software as these can easily be intercepted and hacked, leaving your system open to compromise.
  3. Do not keep sensitive data on your computer unless absolutely necessary:
    • Store sensitive data on a portable drive that you can secure physically.
  4. Make regular, periodic backups:
    • Backup your data regularly to an external drive or server, especially if your business relies on this data.
  5. Keep your backups secure:
    • Store your backups in a secure location, and ideally keep a second copy of your backups off-site, in case of emergency.
  6. Never click on a link in an email or visit a website that you do not recognize:
    • For example, phishing emails can look like an email from a known company, but when you click a link, a hacker is collecting data from you and can compromise your system
    • Some emails or websites can be made to look as if they are from a reputable source; however, sometimes you need to read the email thoroughly without clicking any links to discover whether it is actually from a reputable company, rather than a hacker.
  7. Never open attachments from unknown senders:
    • They can contain viruses, Trojan horses, or other software that can leave your computer open to abuse.
  8. Lock your computer, or logoff whenever you leave your computer:
    • Remember to use a strong password to lock your system
  9. Never open or re-send ‘chain’ email or posts:
    • Again, these can contain viruses or other malicious code
  10. Make sure you evaluate shareware or free software:
    • Free software or shareware may look useful and from a reputable source, but may contain viruses, or malicious code that can allow a hacker to access your system.

Do you need help or advice with your desktop security?

Call TechPoint today to discuss your desktop security: 1-888-801-1777, email us at, or use the form on this page to contact us.

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