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How to Protect Your Devices

How to Protect Your Devices - top government contractors - best government contracting event
Photo: northropgrumman.com
How to Protect Your Devices - top government contractors - best government contracting event
Image: comtrec.com

If you were one of many who received tech gifts during the holidays, beware. Computer and cyber crime have risen by more than 22 percent, according to the most recent statistics from 2009.

McAfee Labs foresees a growth in mobile, social media and PC-based threats in 2011, with cyber crooks finding new ways to wreak havoc via all types of connected devices. And millions of new device owners will become easy targets if they do not beef up their security immediately.

To ensure optimal Internet safety and security in 2011, McAfee suggests the following:

Be aware that threats aimed at cellphones are growing ““ Use software that backs up smart devices and use caution when storing, saving or editing personal information on smartphones or devices. Do not keep all personal passwords on the device, and avoid using it to store financial information like credit card and bank account numbers.

Keep in mind that gaming and entertainment devices are now Internet connected ““ New gaming console may be another port-of-entry for cyber crooks into their household. Some Internet TV applications can expose personal information, so be sure to install anti-virus software, two-way firewalls, anti-spyware, anti-phishing and safe search capabilities. Block free browser access via these devices and use parental controls wherever possible to ensure the safety of children who play interactive games.

Use technologies to protect information on USBs ““ Secure USB sticks by encrypting information, and install security software to protect portable hard drives. Never leave such devices unattended.

Make sure you are using a comprehensive security software platform for your PC““ Free point solutions may work well for specific concerns and known threats, but it won't protect against emerging threats. Typically, it is only being offered to get consumers to buy more comprehensive software.

Free anti-virus software does not provide complete protection ““ These products typically deliver only basic  protection and are not up-to-date with the most recent or emerging threats. Install security software that provides protection using cloud computing, since multiple servers can provide current data and resources on-demand.

Make sure to transfer your PC best practices to all of your Internet-connected devices ““ If you have an Apple device, Apple's MobileMe service is available, providing tools for synching, backing up and securing data. Consider installing security software for new web-connected devices, and make sure the device's Wi-Fi is connected to a secure network.

Pay attention to your kid's online activities ““ Communicate with children about cyber crime, monitor their web activity and consider keeping the family computer in a common space to minimize exposure to inappropriate content.

Search and shop safely ““ Before submitting credit card numbers or other personal information, always read the online vendor's privacy and security policy, and consider using a trusted website safety adviser.

Back up critical information ““ Guard against data loss by using a regular back-up software program to ensure vital  information and personal files are safe in case of emergency.

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