Actually , it has been the dirty word of the internet since the 80's and the classic hacker movies of the early 90's . It's not a word you want to throw around loosely ; it scares people and causes panic because the path of destruction can be crippling .
Whether your 15 year old opened a scam email and infected your family computer , or a virus has taken down your entire system at the office - most people have witnessed the effects of an online security breach .
While the term Hacker has seen resurgence with the handywork of LulzSec , and the recent attacks in Syria and Hong Kong ; now might be a good time to review a few tips to reduce your computer security risks .
Computer Safety Tips-Run an updated virus protection : viruses change on a daily basis , make sure you have the right protection and that it isn't out of date or expired .
Change your password regularly : Even a slight adjustment every few months will help , and keep it a secret !
Read and pay attention to the terms and copyrights of downloaded files : Don't just click 'ok' . Do a little bit of reading into what the file contains and where it will end up on your computer .
Make sure your OS ( Operating System ) is patched : You can be left vulnerable without proper and up-to-date patches . If you are unsure about the staus of your patches , talk to your IT team ( or infrastructure host ) regularly about updates .
Run backups on all your files ! It's simple , but too often underused . Just like Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City , you will be happy you did .
Be conscious of how you are transmitting personal or sensitive information : don't send credit card info or passwords in the body of an email , it's just not safe . If you need to send information , attach it as a file or even better - pick up the phone and communicate it verbally .
Lock your computer when it is unattended : this will save you from pranks and information stealing . It's
like leaving your baggage unattended at airports . . .
Be careful of resource-intensive software/streaming files and media . Be proactive , set rules and limits at home and at the office . Make sure all media is downloaded from a reputable source .
Choose a reputable host : Ask questions about security methods/systems , read customer testimonials , get what you pay for !
Some of these tips seem simple , routine and come second-nature . But incorporating all of these suggestions into your regular computer habits can save you a lot of devastation , recovery time and money at the hands of a hacker or a virus.