The P in “PC” stands for personal, as your device contains a whole load of personal and sensitive information about you as its user. This simple enough reason is why lots of people can become quite obsessed with protecting their PC system.
Constantly testing if your system is secured enough from hacking and other kinds of cybercrime attacks is a wise, responsible move no matter what your job is or what you use your PC for. If you’re ready to test the security of your PC, here’s how:
1. Check your OS
Check your OS and figure out if it’s up to date. Your operating system is never a perfect operating system, as those with malicious intent are always trying to find their way into your PC through your OS. This is why OS developers are always hard at work at finding these bugs and flaws, and even perform ethical hacking on their own systems to make sure an OS helps keep your information safe and secure.
Your responsibility as a user then is to make sure that your OS is always updated to the latest patch. Many of these patches are optional, and OS manufacturers will still allow you to use your system without these security patches. However, it is always recommended that you install these upgrades and updates as soon as they come out, because not doing so can compromise your system’s security.
2. Check your settings
There’s a software application known as the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer, and it’s supposed to help a user check how their Microsoft OS and Office programs are doing in terms of security settings. For starters, it checks your account passwords and makes sure that they’re strong and difficult to guess, it checks if your system gets automatic OS updates, and it even checks if your user accounts are given more privileges than they’re supposed to have.
You can also choose to check your settings manually, or opt for other analyzer tools that may be more robust and inclusive. If you’re going to check out MBSA alternatives, you only need to make sure that the tool you’re using has a good reputation and doesn’t open you up to vulnerabilities.
3. Check your internet browser
Keeping websites safe and secure is a priority for many reputable companies nowadays. In fact, they even perform all kinds of website testing or outsource these services to third-party software testers. These tests ensure that not only is a company’s website safe and secure, but that it’s also optimized for compatibility, usability, and performance across many devices.
However, you can’t just leave it up to the websites you’re visiting to protect you and your data. You need to protect yourself from your end too.
Make sure that your internet browser is updated to the latest version, and any and all plugins that you’re using are updated and safe to use. If they’re not up to date, they may leave you vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks. If you rarely use a plugin, it’s best to just uninstall it rather than leave it running and outdated.
4. Check your firewall
For many, firewall security settings on devices run on Microsoft and MacOS are enough to ensure that you and your system are virtually hidden from hackers when you’re online. Wrong port settings, on the other hand, reveal you to hackers and give them an entry point into your system. Viruses and other malicious programs may have changed your port settings without you knowing. Testing your firewall and checking your port settings is a great idea. While you’re at it, you might also want to install an anti-virus software too.
5. Check your social media accounts
Your social media accounts are jam-packed with information, and you might want to double check which and how much of these data is available to the public. Oversharing information on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and many other social media platforms is so commonplace nowadays that it’s so easy to overlook information that you might have rather not shared.
Make use of your social media accounts’ privacy settings. Check your profiles from an outsider’s POV, and remember to keep private and sensitive information away from feeds and timelines.